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Visitation for Legendary Seaholm Coach Kermit Ambrose is Friday

Birmingham high school's former long-time track and cross country coach was 101 when died at a Bloomfield Hills nursing center.

Visitation for the acclaimed track and cross country coach Kermit Ambrose is Friday. Ambrose was 101 years old when he died Monday.

Ambrose, who was living at the Woodward Hills Nursing Center in Bloomfield Hills, retired in 1977.  

Born in Pierce, NE, Ambrose was one of the founders of the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) and led the Seaholm boys cross country team to state titles in 1959 and 1963.

Ambrose is also a member of the Michigan Hall of Fame, where he is the namesake for that body's "Kermit Ambrose Award." He was also a member of the Catholic League Hall of Fame.

Several meets and races throughout Metro Detroit have been since named in his honor, including the annual Kermit Ambrose Relays at Farmington High School, according to an MLive.com report.

Bob Stark, track coach at Brother Rice High School, told The Detroit News  that Ambrose's influence has been felt by thousands of Michigan runners. "His influence on coaches and young men is matched by none," he said. "He's survived by tens of thousands of young men and thousands of coaches."

On Ambrose's obituary page on the Lynch & Sons Funeral Home website, dozens of people have left condolences and shared memories of their time with Ambrose.

"I learned a great deal about life, responsibility and running from this great man," Joel Krafsur writes. "I would say that he will be missed, but I know that he is always present in the thousands of lives that he touched."

Lindsey Gallo's message is short but sweet: "RIP Kermit. The finish line won't be the same without you."

Services and memorials

Visitation will take place 4-8 p.m. Friday at , at 1368 N. Crooks Rd. Services will take place at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Memorial donations will be accepted for MITCA, care of Lou Miramonti, at 5511 Bordman Rd., Dryden, MI 48428.

Alan Stamm March 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM
About "300 people showed for Mr. Ambrose tonight," Gigi Koury, a Birmingham native who flew in from Las Vegas, says in a Facebook post about Friday's visitation. "No one would've enjoyed it more than the man himself. "The room was full of friends, his trophies, awards and photos. . . . It was sort of like a cocktail party, sans cocktails, in his honor."
Alan Stamm March 03, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Update from Gigi Koury to a local social media group: "The funeral today was packed, and they gave him military honors. Two- time Olympian and Seaholm alum Jack Bacheler spoke. Kermit will be so missed." The eulogist she mentions is a '62 Seaholm grad who ran track and played basketball. After graduating from Miami University of Ohio, he ran in the '68 and '72 Olympics. Now 67, Bacheler flew up from Clayton, NC, for his first coach's funeral.

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