Peterson: There’s only one Kevin Luke

I’ve dealt with countless coaches in my some five decades on the sports scene.

The majority of them have been courteous and cooperative, willing to go the extra mile to ensure their team gets the right coverage.

I’m talking about people like late Ontonagon football coach Bob Carlson.

Now, upon first meeting Carlson, I was taken aback a bit by his brusque nature. But after we got to know each other and he knew I wasn’t going to betray his trust, there was no problem.

He dutifully supplied the stats that are required for any story. And if his quotes weren’t always long and descriptive, he was always straight forward.

The same goes for guys like Jerry Bugni of L’Anse, the late Carl “Cookie” Johnson of Baraga and Roland Antila of White Pine.

Antila, a very good basketball coach and player, should be in the U.P. Hall of Fame. He was always honest and up front.

The only dispute — if you can even call it that — I can recall us having was his questioning why the players who didn’t score a point or commit a foul weren’t in the boxscore.

I had to explain to Rollie that it had been a longstanding policy of the newspaper to go that route. It still stands to this day, except that scoring a point is now a prequisite “to make the paper.”

But Michigan Tech men’s basketball coach Kevin Luke stands by himself when it comes to media relations.

Always thoughtful and aware that deadlines were very much a part of the reporter’s life, he made a point of being concise when asked a question.

I know some of those questions might have sounded silly at the time. But he always took the time and patience to thoughtfully answer them.

And unlike some other coaches I’ve encountered, he never let a defeat, regardless of how bitter, keep him from taking the time to sit down for postgame comments.

MTU has been very fortunate and successful to have Kevin Luke as a coach all these years.

All I know is that they broke the mold when he was created.


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