Legends in Leadership
Leadership isn’t inherited, it’s developed. It takes an intentional effort to shape and motivate lives to excel past their own perceived potential. It takes an intentional effort to instill a sense of calling to lead, not to just follow. Come hear coaches who have inspired athletes for years. Learn about their challenges and how they have filtered through the clutter and distractions in this world to form leaders for today and tomorrow.
The RC athletics program is hosting the Legends in Leadership Dinner in an effort to “Bring the Games to Campus.” Even though Rochester College has won five national championships in basketball, the Warriors have never played a home game in their own gymnasium. Can you imagine the impact a new gym would have on campus life?
Local business leader Bill Fox wants to see those home games played on campus. Consequently, he plans to donate $1 million toward the $3.8 million Garth Pleasant Gymnasium if alumni and friends will match that amount. A little over half of his challenge amount has been raised, so he has donated his first $500,000. We need your help with matching the second $500,000!
Tickets are $100 per person.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Learn more under the sponsorship tab above.
Greg Kampe completed his 30th season in 2013-14 and is the third-longest tenured coach at one school in Division I. Kampe led Oakland to six championships in 14 seasons inside The Summit League, including three NCAA tournaments (2005, ‘10, ‘11).
He became the fifth active D-I coach to win 500 games at one school, finished third all-time in The Summit League with 147 league victories, and earned a league-best five coach of the year selections.
Kampe led the Golden Grizzlies to a tie for fifth-place standing in their first season inside the Horizon League with a 7-9 record. The Golden Grizzlies won their opening round game versus Youngstown State, before falling to Wright State in the quarterfinals.
A CLOSER LOOK AT KAMPE
- Won 519 games, No. 21 among active Div. 1 coaches
- National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com in 2000, after leading Oakland to the Mid-Con regular-season title in the Golden Grizzlies first season of D-I competition
- 1 of 2 OU coaches to be inducted into the Hollie L. Lepley Hall of Honor while still coaching; Earning that distinction in Jan. 2012
- Led team to a nation’s-best 34-2 league record from 2009-11
- OU won six Summit League championships in 14 seasons
- The Golden Grizzlies are 43-9 (.827) in league play at home since 2008
- Oakland is averaging over 80 points per game over the last five seasons
- Mid-Major Coach of the Year finalist in 2011
- Over 25 players have gone on to play professionally, including two in the NBA; Rawle Marshall (2002-05) for the Dallas Mavericks (2005-06) and Indiana Pacers (2006-07), while Keith Benson (2007-11) became the first-ever draft pick, taken 48th overall by the Atlanta Hawks and played for the Golden State Warriors (2012)
- Brian Gregory (1987-90) continues to hold the all-time school record in assists for a career, single-season and single-game, and now has become a very successful college coach; After working under Tom Izzo at Michigan State, Gregory took over a Dayton and led the Flyers to multiple NCAA tournaments, before becoming the head coach at Georgia Tech in 2011
Athletic Director Emeritus and former Head Basketball Coach Garth Pleasant has been an active member of the Rochester College faculty since 1971. Born and raised in Flint, MI, Coach Pleasant attended Ainsworth High School and was a two-sport athlete in Baseball and Basketball.
Coach Pleasant started his college years at Rochester College in 1967 where he starred on the Men’s Basketball team. After he transferred to Lipscomb University and graduated with a degree in Health Physical Education and Recreation, Coach Pleasant started teaching at Rochester College. He also took on several other roles at the college including Dean of Students, Coordinator of Housing, and Athletic Director all the while earning his Master’s Degree from Wayne State University.
In 1972, Coach Pleasant became the Head Basketball Coach at Rochester College. In his 38 years of coaching, Coach Pleasant won 720 games, four national championships, and was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame. He was also named the Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1989. Pleasant’s other honors include NSCAA Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1994,and USCAA Coach of the Year in 2004.
Aside from coaching, Coach Pleasant was the minister at Lake Orion Church for 30 years and does public speaking to a wide variety of groups. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife Pat and his six grandchildren. Coach Pleasant is the father of RC head basketball coach Klint Pleasant, Rochester High School Head Basketball Coach Johnny Pleasant as well as the proud father of daughter Kim Speck.
Rochester College is a very familiar place for Head Men’s Basketball Coach Klint Pleasant. Pleasant took the reigns from his father and long time RC basketball coach, Garth Pleasant, after assisting him for four seasons.
Pleasant’s coaching resume is among the best. He comes to RC from NCAA Division II Abilene Christian University where he was the youngest NCAA Division II college coach in the country. At ACU, Pleasant coached the Wildcats to 25 wins in his first two seasons after taking over a program that had won only 13 games in the two previous seasons.
Before coaching at ACU, Pleasant was an assistant coach at Kent State University (NCAA Div. I). During the 2001-2002 season, Pleasant helped coach the Golden Flashes to a Mid-American Conference record 30 games as the team advanced to the NCAA Div. I Tournament’s Elite Eight. The University of Indiana denied them a trip to the Final 4 on a nationally televised game on CBS. Since then, the Kent State team that Pleasant coached was named the “Mid-American team of the decade.” Pleasant coached and played a major role in developing the team’s center, John Edwards, into an NBA player. Edwards went on to play for both the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks. He also coached power forward, Antonio Gates, who now plays in the NFL and is among the best tight ends in the game. Following his only season at Kent State, Pleasant was offered a chance to follow Head Coach Stan Heath to SEC powerhouse Arkansas. Pleasant, however, decided to remain at Kent State, only to be offered the head coaching job at ACU three months later. In addition, Rachel (Pleasant’s wife) received her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology while at Kent State.
Prior to joining the Kent State program, Pleasant served as an assistant coach at (NCAA Div. I) University of Tennessee-Martin (1999-2001) and (NCAA Div. II) Wayne State University (1998-1999). While at UT-Martin, he helped the Skyhawks qualify for the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the first time in school history. During his tenure at WSU, Pleasant helped lead the team to a 25-5 record, a top 5 ranking in the country, a conference championship and an NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen appearance. Pleasant completed his master’s degree in Education in 1999 while coaching at UT-Martin.
Pleasant’s coaching career started at Lipscomb University where he served as a student assistant under legendary head coach Don Meyer, who is the fastest coach to reach 700 victories in the history of college basketball.
Before his coaching career, Pleasant played football for Abilene Christian University (NCAA Div. II) under head coach Dr. Bob Strader in 1994. He graduated college from Lipscomb University in 1998.
As a prep, Pleasant attended Waterford Kettering High School in Waterford, MI and played football for legendary high school football coach Mike Berry. He was a unanimous First Team All-Conference selection in football and was his team’s co-captain on the baseball, basketball, and football teams. His 48 pass receptions in his senior year put him among the top five in the state of Michigan.
Pleasant’s roots are planted deeply in Rochester College’s soil as his grandfather Lucien Palmer was a founding father. Dr. Palmer served as the first Dean of the College and later served as President for eight years. His father, Garth Pleasant, served at Rochester College for nearly 40 years as the men’s basketball coach, Athletic Director, and as a member of the faculty. Klint and Rachel made the move back to Rochester College in 2005 after the birth of their first child, Abigail.
Pleasant also serves as the RC Athletic Director and Vice President of Enrollment. Enrollment (incoming classes) has increased more than 40% since Pleasant took over the reigns, and the largest incoming class in the school’s 52 year history was brought in during his second year managing the recruiting process. The Pleasant family experienced some personal struggles after moving back to Rochester Hills as Rachel survived a brain tumor and several surgeries. Rachel and Klint frequently travel to various places as they speak about their incredible journey.
Pleasant resides in Rochester Hills with his wife Rachel (Stevens) and two daughters Abigail (8) and Julia (3).
Crimson & White Sponsor…..$1,000
- Prime seating for ten
- Photo with featured speakers
- Recognition in program and PowerPoint slideshow
- Admission for two
- Photo with featured speakers
- Recognition in program and PowerPoint slideshow
Thank you to our sponsors!
North Oakland Baseball Federation