Former MIHS boys golf team captains organize memorial tourney in coach’s honor
Former Mercer Island High School golf coach and middle school teacher Gary Adrian touched numerous young lives on the Island for more than a decade and a half. His passing in September 2006 brought many of his former students and athletes back together to say goodbye. Many more of his family, friends and pupils will gather on July 14 at the Fairwood Golf and Country Club in Renton for the first Gary Adrian Memorial Golf Tournament.
“We wanted to honor our coach and raise some money for charity,” said Adam Levy, who is organizing the event with fellow MIHS graduate Ben Garrett. “He always taught us ethics, integrity and character. He is a product of what we have become.”
Along with the tournament, a dinner will be held after the sporting event to honor Adrian’s memory. Proceeds from all the events will benefit the First Tee of Greater Seattle, which provides learning facilities and educational programs to promote character development through the game of golf.
“We would love to be able to write a big check to First Tee in Coach Adrian’s name,” said Garrett. “He gave so much to us and all of his former students. We just want to honor his memory.”
Both Adrian’s wife, Judy, and son-in-law, Casey Calkin, are committee members for the event.
“I was just so touched that they would do this,” said Judy Adrian. “It comes so much from their hearts. They have been so concerned that everything is right for me. They are just wonderful young men.”
The event has already garnered many sponsors, but Garrett said they are still looking for a title sponsor. Some sponsors have chosen to donate items for a raffle, while others have pledged money for the event. Registration for the tournament has been good, and both Levy and Garrett expect to fill out the 144-player field.
“We still have room, but you better sign up early,” said Garrett.
Garrett and Levy said that they have former students and players from all over the United States coming back to Washington specifically for the event.
The current Mercer Island High School golf team has also been a big part of the tournament.
“We have had great support from everyone: players, teams and even students who didn’t play golf,” said Levy.
Adrian’s 32 years as a teacher and coach in the Mercer Island, Bellevue and Lake Washington school districts has spread great interest in the event throughout the Eastside.
The golf tournament is an 18-hole scramble with a shotgun start and will begin at 11 a.m. on July 14 with the awards dinner to follow at 5 p.m.
Both Garrett and Levy have fond memories of being golf team captains under Adrian’s tutelage.
“I remember the eastern Washington golf trips,” said Levy. “Playing 36 holes a day and stopping by at Minor’s Burgers on the way back.”
Adrian grew up in Richland, Wash., and was a star running back at Central Washington University.
He taught physical education at Islander Middle School from 1990-2000. He was the head coach for the Mercer Island High School golf team for nine years. Adrian guided the team to its first and only state title during his final season as coach. Adrian also coached the Bellevue High School football team and the Newport boys basketball team.
For more information about the event or to sign up for the dinner or golf tournament, call Garrett at (206) 296-9636 or Levy at (425) 646-6712.