Mid-Michigan mourns the loss of another legendary coach in 2020


LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – On the final day of 2020 the Mid-Michigan community is, once more, mourning the loss of one of its legendary coaches. Jack Rarick who was a longtime Grand Ledge, and Holt, assistant football coach, along with the head track & field coach of both the men’s and women’s programs at Holt for many years, passed away on Wednesday night. He was 65 years old.

“He was considered, by many, to be one of the best offensive line coaches in the state until he retired,” said current Holt football coach Chad Fulk when reflecting on Rarick’s career.

An All-State linebacker at Grand Ledge in high school, Rarick started his coaching career at Holt in 1977 before making his way back to Grand Ledge in 1994 until 1999, leaving the Comets’ program right before they’d go on to win the state title in 2000.

“We always teased him,” said Fulk. “He left Holt just before ’95 when we lost to Detroit Catholic Central in the finals and then left Grand Ledge just before they won it.”

“It is sad to lose Jack,” said former Grand Ledge baseball and football coach Pat O’Keefe. “He was such a great friend and one of the most positive coaches that I’ve ever been around. Many kids in Grand Ledge, and Holt, were fortunate to have had him in their lives. I was fortunate to have him as a student, player, coaching partner, adversary, and best of all…a friend.”

Rarick was also very close with the late Mike Smith, who passed away earlier this year on Nov. 5 at the age of 67 years old, and not just because he served on Smith’s staff after leaving Grand Ledge in ’99. Rarick and Smith were in each other’s wedding.

As a way to honor Rarick’s life, and legacy, the Grand Ledge and Holt football programs will play for a traveling trophy known as, ‘The Jack Rarick Memorial Trophy’ or simply, ‘The Jack’ starting in the fall of 2021.

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