Maki did little bit of everything
HANCOCK — Among the numerous standout athletes produced at Hancock High School, Ed Maki may have been the one who had the most influence throughout his life.
The late two-sport standout wore a number of hats in his career, including being the first modern day Michigan Tech hockey coach.
Late Daily Mining Gazette sportswriter Dick Loranger said that Maki was a person who helped transform MTU (formerly the Michigan College of Mines) into a full-fledged university.
“A lot of the credit belongs to him (Maki),” Loranger said in a 1990 interview. “He did just about everything in athletics around here, from being a player to a coach, to an administrator.”
Born in Rudyard in the eastern Upper Peninsula, Maki moved with his family to Hancock at a young age.
Along with younger brothers Albert and Alfred, he took part in all sports at Hancock High. His brothers followed in his tracks in sports.
In football, he quarterbacked the Bulldogs to three straight Copper Country Conference titles. He was an effective passer, according to Loranger.
“Passing in football was still in its early stages, but Maki used it when the going got tough,” he said.
In hockey, he was played for the local town team and was an outstanding goaltender.
In fact, it was his talent in hockey and football that earned him a chance to play in college in both sports.
“Ed Maki could play any sport he tried,” MTU Sports Information Director Rene “Monk” Adams said later on. “He was a natural.”
He put in three outstanding efforts versus league champion Minnesota on the ice in 1938.
“Those games against Minnesota were probably the main reason I was selected to the All-American team,” Maki said in a 1997 interview.
Those feats also helped gain him a spot on the 1939 U.S. International team that played in Switzerland for the world title.
The U.S. team played a number of exhibitions around Europe in 1939. Maki said one thing stood out.
“There were German soldiers everywhere we went,” he recalled. “You knew something big was happening.”
Maki led the U.S. team to second place in the International tourney, allowing an average of just two goals a game.
World War II interrupted his athletic career (he earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart) while serving in the U.S. Navy.
After the war ended, Maki was called on to coach at Tech. He posted a 10-3 record in 1947 and led the team for two more seasons.
He also arranged the first western trip for the Huskies in 1949, bringing them to Colorado College, Denver University and the San Francisco University.
“It was the first time a team from up here had traveled that far,” he recalled. “It was a pretty big deal.”
Besides coaching hockey, football and track, Ed started up intramural athletics at the university.
He also helped form the Copper Country Junior Hockey League in the late 1940s.
Maki was inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.