Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

July 27, 2013

Rakan returns to Traverse City for golf outing

TRAVERSE CITY — In an effort to raise funds for the football program the Traverse City Central Football Boosters are hosting a golf outing at the Grand Traverse Resort’s Spruce Run Course on Sunday, an event that will feature former TC Central football star Gary Rakan.

Rakan, who starred for the Trojans in the mid to late 80s, then went on to start and become a team captain at Central Michigan, will play in the outing as well as speak to the assembled group.

“I think it’s something I would want to readily be involved with. For whatever reason, whether I was unaware they were ever doing it, or no one ever asked or I never enquired, it never came up,” said Rakan. “Then when coach (Tom) Passinault extended an invitation I felt honored to have an opportunity to come back. Sports played a big part in my life. I feel obligated, quite honestly, to come back and try to help and do whatever I can to help them raise funds and get a chance to talk to the kids and things like that.”

Rakan lives in the Lansing area with his wife Suzy Merchant, the head women’s basketball coach at Michigan State, and their two sons, but says he isn’t able to get back to Traverse City as often as he would like. So when the opportunity to return for the outing came about, he was thrilled it was going to fit into his schedule.

“This time of year an opportunity to come back to Traverse City is going to be hard to turn down,” he said. “It worked out from a timing standpoint and I was happy to have an opportunity to get up there. Coach wanted me to say a few things and talk a little bit about my experience and talk about the history of Traverse City football.”

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