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Duane Raffin
04-02-2010, 12:37 PM
Post: #1
Duane Raffin
On this day when so many will travel to Holly to pay our respects, please post a memory of our friend Duane Raffin.
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04-02-2010, 01:41 PM
Post: #2
RE: Duane Raffin
If you have coached or participated in track and field in Michigan, you have been influenced (directly or indirectly) by Raff. He was an accomplished teacher and coach, but was just as influential as an official, promoter of the sport, leader in MITCA, and mentor of coaches.

When I picture Raff, I see a look of tremendous enthusiasm...telling one of his many coaching stories, setting up the heats at an indoor meet, working at the Holly Invitational, selling Midwest Meet of Champions tickets to raise funds for our student-athletes, running the dollar raffle or giving out door prizes at the MITCA clinic, and most of all talking about track and helping kids. Everything was full-tilt, all the time, I don't think he knew any other way. Raff gave so much of his time and energy to the sport and its people, and he did so with inspiring passion and energy. He had a wealth of coaching knowledge and his influence stretches throughout our coaching community. We will miss him.
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04-02-2010, 02:56 PM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2010 02:58 PM by DonP.)
Post: #3
RE: Duane Raffin
Thanks Andy for the thread.

My favorite memory of Duane was riding in the truck with him for a race at MIS as he shouted out the race status into the walkie-talkie radio for rebroadcast on the web. He knew the kids and he was truly excited to see how it turned out.

Here are links to Bill Khan's article:
Duane Raffin, former Holly cross country and track coaching legend, dies of cancer
By Bill Khan | Flint Journal
March 30, 2010, 11:47PM

The Obituataries:

And to his official legacy page:

His athletes' page creating a scholarship, Friend of Raff:

Our sport will miss him. The door prize drawing will never be the same.
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04-21-2010, 12:24 PM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2010 12:26 PM by scott hubbard.)
Post: #4
RE: Duane Raffin
Amen Andy, well said. Wonderful man. Everything he touched was a little better for the experience, some things a lot better. The sum of the parts of Duane added up to more than 100% - that happens when you've positively influenced so many things. He was a down-to-earth guy who didn't take himself serious - but never lost sight of what was important, pouring himself into various projects that would benefit the sport. He was good people.

It's been Duane's voice you've heard calling the races over the PA at MIS (LP Finals cross) for all these years. It was just one of many ways he 'gave back to the sport' but one of his most defining because you could hear a certain excitement in his voice as he announced each race. He cared very much about the action and it was easy to detect joy in his rapid-fire description of events. I'll miss him.
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04-21-2010, 04:27 PM
Post: #5
RE: Duane Raffin
I know the voice very well. I only met the man one time, at the MITS State Meet. We had a laugh together about his calling the 2007 D4 State X/C race from the truck as Scott pointed out above. He had a little trouble with some names on occasion. I told him how much I appreciated him getting Kyle's name right, and he laughed his distinctive laugh, and said "I get a little excited." The thing is, the guy just loved doing that, calling those races. Anyone could have been calling that race from that truck that day; but it was Duane, and it mattered that it was Duane. Forever Duane will live on in our home, as I play that video over and and over; and play it for Kyle's kids in the future. When I listen to it, it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck as he calls; "Okay we're out here at the Two Mile ... Tim Jagielski the defending champion still leading the race ... his time 10:12. And Kyle Stacks, grinding it down at 10:15, as Jagielski's margin is down to 10 yards now as Kyle Stacks of Concord pushes it down the hill. Kevin Oblinger is running third ... They almost are right with Jagielski. AND IT'S GONNA BE A RACE, THAT LITTLE KYLE STACKS REALLY LOOKS FRESH ... as he meets the challenge of Tim Jaielski our defending champion!" You can't just read it; it doesn't do it justice. You need to read it in Duane's voice, if you know it (his voice), my post will make more sense. He was unique.

None of this has anything to do with the fact he was calling my kids race. It's simply that he LOVED THE SPORT AND THE KIDS, no matter who they were. But trust me, it wouldn't sound the same in another voice. It made it especially memorable.

Duane Raffin will live on through his passion for the sport, and the memories he helped to create for so many people young and old.

Thanks Duane
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