Genson to retire after 31 years as MCC athletic director

February 27, 2023

Genson to retire after 31 years as MCC athletic director

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central Schools in partnership with Mason County Press. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

SCOTTVILLE — Tim Genson plans on retiring from his career at Mason County Central Schools at the end of this school year. Genson, 55, started at MCC as a part-time athletic director in the fall of 1992. Since fall 1993, he has been the district’s AD and a social studies teacher at the high school. Genson has also coached boys varsity basketball for a cumulative 24 seasons. His basketball coaching career has included leading his team to the 1998 state finals, where the team finished as runners-up and a bid for the state semifinals in 1997. 

Additionally, he has coached golf and track as well. 

Genson served as boys varsity basketball coach from the 1993-1994 season until the 2008-2009 season and then from 2015-2016 season until this year, making him the longest tenured boys varsity basketball coach at MCC. From 2009 to 2015, Jeff Tuka (who is now high school principal) was boys varsity basketball coach, meaning MCC has only had two varsity boys basketball coaches in 30 years.

His varsity basketball coaching career has included over 340 wins, five conference titles, eight district titles, some regional titles, along with competing in the state semifinals and finishing as class C state runners-up. Genson will now go into the history books along with several other legendary MCC boys basketball coaches such as Jack Shriver, Duane Ingraham, Wally Sadosty and Tom Kudwa.

Genson was also instrumental in the expansion of the West Michigan Conference, which went from its original eight schools to 14. Originally made up of Hart, Mason County Central, Montague, North Muskegon, Oakridge, Ravenna, Shelby and Whitehall, the league now includes Fremont, Hesperia, Holton, Ludington, Manistee and Orchard View and is split into two divisions, Lakes and Rivers.

“That’s something I have been pushing for the last 20 years,” Genson says. “It was been great to see it finally happen and I’m honored to have coached in the newly re-organized league for a season. It will actually be good for a new AD to take it from here.”

Genson is a 1985 graduate of MCC. His family’s roots go back to the very beginning of the Scottville school system and the town itself. He is the fourth generation of his family to attend school in Scottville, including his mother, Sue (Dodge) Genson, class of 1962; grandmother, Bertelle (Schulte) Dodge and grandfather, William Dodge; both class of 1927; and his great-grandfather, Bertram Schulte, who was the first pioneer baby born in Scottville in 1879. His great-grandparents, Herman and Francis Schulte, came to Scottville in the 1870s. The school was started that same decade. 

“With the exception of the three years I was at college, I have been part of MCC either as a student or an employee since 1972,” Genson says. “I love this school and take great pride in having been a part of it for the last 51 years.” 

Genson says he’s enjoyed his accomplishments in sports, but the most important part of his career has been the kids. 

“I’m very proud of the kids who I have either taught or coached. It’s great to look at many of those former students and see their accomplishments as adults. That’s what it’s all about. While it’s great to have winning teams, it’s even better to know that you have played a role in teaching kids valuable life lessons, how to win humbly and how to lose gracefully. How to learn to take constructive criticism under sometimes extreme pressure and learn lessons from those coaching moments.” 

One of those former students/athletes, Jeff Tuka, is now Genson’s boss. 

“ I have only called him ‘Tim’ a handful of times since I have been the high school principal,” Tuka says.  “He was my basketball coach when I was a kid playing for MCC.  I call him ‘coach’ because that is what he will always be to me.”

Tuka says Genson’s retirement comes with mixed emotions. 

“We are congratulating Coach Genson on a fine three-decade career at MCC but it’s hard to let him go. He has been so stable and dedicated to basketball and the whole athletic department. We will certainly miss his contributions in the classroom as well.  His impact has been felt educationally, athletically and as a member of the MCC Educational Foundation.”

Genson’s impact on current students is also clear as he walks down the halls of MCC High School. Students stop and discuss athletics and other school activities. Others give him fist bumps and say hi. 

Genson says he’s seen a lot of changes at MCC since he began coaching in 1992. 

“Almost every single athletic facility at the school has been built new since I began,” Genson says. “I began my basketball coaching career in the A.O. Carlson Gym (MCC High School’s original gym built that opened in 1959) and have spent over half that career in the new events center, which was built in 2006. Plus, when I began as AD, football, baseball, softball and track and field were all held at McPhail Field and cross country took place at West Shore Community College. In the late 1990s we built Spartan Community Field, which included new facilities for football, baseball, softball, track and soccer. Cross country is now run at Scottville Riverside Park. Since that time, we have upgraded our track again, which has allowed us to host regional events.

“There have been some big changes in our academic facilities as well,” Genson adds. “When I started teaching, we had three K-5 elementary schools — Scottville, Riverton and Victory. In 2006, those three schools were consolidated into Scottville Elementary, as a lower elementary, and the new Upper Elementary. Now, all K-12 classes are held in the City of Scottville.

“Our district’s voters have been generous over the years and have provided great academic and athletic facilities for our kids,” Genson said. “Now, it’s time for them to come out and support the kids again with the upcoming bond vote. None of the things the district is asking for are luxury items, including the performing arts centers. If anyone were to travel to any other school district the size of MCC, they would find that such facilities are standard. By no means is anything on the bond ‘keeping up with the neighbors,’ but rather just keeping up. Most importantly, our kids deserve to be safe. This new bond provides for major upgrades in safety and security.”

Genson says he isn’t quite sure what he’s going to do in retirement. He’s been having conversations with various companies and groups. But, he confirms that he will be done coaching and teaching. He says his wife, Carrie, is still a few years away from retirement, but they plan on spending more time with their son, Noah, who now lives in the Ann Arbor area. 

“I do know that I would like to spend some time in the elementary schools and help read to kids,” he says. “I will likely play some golf, which is pretty much my only hobby. But, I’m still trying to figure out what my next move will be.” 

“It’s been a good long run, but, it’s time. I still enjoy teaching and I still enjoy coaching and I believe that’s the best time to retire, when you are still loving what you do. Plus, it’s also good to leave before you’re asked to leave,” he says with a laugh.

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