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Retirement party for Croze set for July 9; free for public

Calumet head coach John Croze address the team after defeating Menominee 39-14 in a MHSAA Division 6 district final on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — A retirement party will be held for John Croze, who retired as longtime head coach of the Calumet High School varsity football team.

The party will be held at Harbor Haus’ event center The Vue on Saturday, July 9. The event begins at 5 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a dinner and recognition ceremony. The event is free and open to the public, but there are a limited number of seats. Those interested in attending are asked to email Josh Frantti at jfrantti@clkschools.org to reserve a seat.

Any donations made will benefit the Copper Kings’ football program.

Josh Frantti, the next Copper Kings’ varsity head coach, said Croze’s commitment to the community are “immeasurable.”

“He dedicated over 30 years of his life to build a winning football culture in Calumet, and positively influenced countless lives,” Frantti said. “The CHS football alumni want to recognize Coach Croze and thank him for all the great memories he helped create.”

Croze retired after 31 seasons coaching in the Copper Kings program, including the last 22 seasons as head coach. Croze compiled a record of 148-78 (.655) as head coach. He won at least 10 games a season on three occasions, including an undefeated regular season in 2018.

He was named WestPAC Coach of the Year nine times, Regional Coach of the Year six times, and UP Coach of the Year in 2009. He also coached the UP All-Star Game and state-wide East-West All-Star Game.

Croze’s Copper Kings won the WestPAC championship eight times, along with four district titles. Under Croze, Calumet was named the UP Class C Team of the Year in 2009 and 2018.

Croze coached 187 WestPAC All-Conference players, 24 WestPAC Players of the Year, 61 All-UP players, 19 All-UP Dream Team selections, six UP Players of the Year, and 16 All-State players.

Croze also coached track, winning three straight UP championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and Division 1 runner-up twice. Croze also coached elementary basketball, freshman boys basketball, and JV boys basketball. He was also a volunteer assistant coach on Calumet’s 2015 state championship team.

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