College notes: Former Oakland guard joins Kampe’s staff

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Oakland men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe is turning to a familiar face to round out his staff for 2017-18.

Former Oakland guard Mychal Covington, a Pontiac native, is expected to be announced as a Golden Grizzlies assistant coach later this week, a person with knowledge of the hire told The News.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the hiring hasn’t been made official.

Covington replaces Drew Valentine, Oakland’s lead recruiter who abruptly left to take a job on the Loyola (Chicago) staff in June.

Covington joins Detroit native Tony Jones as additions to Kampe’s staff. Jones replaced Cornell Mann, who took a job on the Missouri staff.

Kampe has lost six assistant coaches in the last three seasons.

In Covington, who played at Oakland from 1998-2002, Oakland adds a well-respected member of the Metro Detroit coaching community. He’s long been a basketball trainer and consultant in the area, has coached with the highly acclaimed The Family ballclub in AAU, and is a former coach at Melvindale ABT.

His dad, Craig Covington, is the men’s head basketball coach at Marygrove College. His brother, also Craig, also is a coach.

Mychal Covington played at Pontiac Northern before playing four years at Oakland. His senior season, he averaged 8.8 points, 7.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds.

In earning the job, Covington beat out former Michigan State star Charlie Bell.

At Oakland, interestingly, there’s been more turnover on the coaching staff than on the roster. There are lofty expectations for 2017-18, given a) the Golden Grizzlies only lost one senior, Sherron Dorsey-Walker, and are replacing him with Illinois transfer Kendrick Nunn; and b) Valparaiso has left the league.

Oakland was 25-9 and won the Horizon League regular-season championship last season before being stunned by Youngstown State in the Horizon League tournament. That shipped Oakland to the NIT, where it won a thrilling game against Clemson.

Baird to lead Lawrence Tech softball

Longtime Eastern Michigan softball coach Karen Baird is the new softball coach at Lawrence Tech, making her the second coach in program history. She replaces Anna Ball, who guided the program in its inaugural season before taking the head-coaching job at Walsh College in Ohio.

Baird most recently was an assistant coach at Oakland, which changed head coaches this offseason.

Baird spent 11 seasons as head coach of the Eagles, earning an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007. Before her stint at Eastern, Baird was head coach at Albion, winning one MIAA championship.

As a coach, she has a history of players earning high marks in the classroom.

She attended Wayne State, three times earning all-league honors.

Baird, who also has coached golf at the collegiate level, officially started on the job Monday.

Lawrence Tech is an NAIA school in Southfield.

This and that

■ Western Michigan’s 2017 Hall of Fame class will include Allen Hughes (football), Robert Louis (track and field), Ron Miller (wrestling), Casey Rost (women’s basketball and Laura Stewart (softball). All are Michigan natives, with Hughes and Louis from Detroit. The ceremony will be Sept. 29.

■ The Wayne State athletics department has opened the nomination process for its 2018 Hall of Fame class. Nominations can be submitted online at the athletics website,, and they’ll be accepted until Oct. 1.

■ Former Clinton Township Chippewa Valley soccer star Dalton Amez, a midfielder, has transferred to Division I Detroit Mercy from Division II Northwood.

■ Longtime Detroit Mercy donor Roger Buysse, who was particularly fond of the softball program, has died at the age of 93.