By CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A few weeks ago the MHSAA contacted TC Central athletic director Cody Inglis and vaguely let him know he was going to be receiving some sort of award.
On Wednesday Inglis found out what it was.
The MHSAA honored Inglis with the Bush Award, an accolade given to individuals for service to high school athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media with at least 15 years of service. Inglis was one of two people chosen for this year’s award by the MHSAA’s Representative Council, along with Middleville Thornapple Kellogg AD Dave Chrisinske.
“I was waiting and wondering what it was,” said Inglis, after he had learned of the MHSAA’s intentions. “I knew the Bush Award is one of those big and prestigious awards the MHSAA gives out. I knew that was a possibility, but did not really know until today. It was a nice surprise. A very humbling honor. When I look at some of the names of the previous winners — people like (former TC Central AD) John Sonneman or (Petoskey AD) Gary Hice — people with whom I hold in high regard. That’s pretty special to be included among people like that.”
This is the 22nd year of the award, which is named after former MHSAA Executive Director Al Bush.
To win the award you first have to be nominated. Inglis believes Hice, who won the award in 2002, was the person who nominated him.
“I joked with someone today that it really just means I was lucky enough to get the job when I was young and it just means I’ve hung on to it for a while. In this day and age of educational athletics, it’s scary to think I’m one of the more veteran ADs,” he said.
Inglis has been in his position at Central for the past five years. Prior to that he was the AD at Suttons Bay for 11 years, thrust into the position as a 23-year-old in his second year of teaching.
“It was one of those things you either embrace the lifestyle or you don’t,” Inglis said. “For me, I enjoy educational athletics. There’s a passion in it for me. There is some importance, I believe, to the life-long lessons in values and ethics that we know sports and athletics can provide. It’s a non-stop go, sometimes 24-7 lifestyle, that gives you the variety day-to-day. Every day is different, every day is a challenge, every day is unique. That is something I’ve enjoyed.
“I’ve been blessed to be around great people, and really I think you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I really have been blessed to be around great coaches, great people, supportive parents, supportive administrators that I’ve worked with. The people you work with on a daily basis make your job more interesting and more enjoyable.”
Inglis has been a member of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) since 1997, became a Certified Athletic Administrator in 1999 and has served as an MIAAA region representative since 2001. TC Central is a regular host of MHSAA tournaments in a variety of sports, and Inglis has served as a member of the track, hockey, skiing and cross country sport committees and the site and officials selection committees. He was named MIAAA Region 2 Athletic Director of the Year in 2003.
“Cody Inglis is named time and again by his fellow athletic administrators as someone of integrity and character,” said MHSAA Executive Director Jack Roberts. “He’s passed on these and various lesson to his coaches and athletes, but also as a regular speaker at the MIAAA’s annual conference. His impact continues to affect those he works with regularly in the Traverse City area, but also others across our state. He is a deserving recipient of the Bush Award.”
Others from the area who have received the Bush Award include Sonneman (2001), Traverse City attorney Al Bush Jr. (2003) and former Petoskey News-Review sports editor Jerry Rosevear (2008)