The occasion was certainly a special one on June 30, 2022 in Seattle. Former Kent State athletic director and University of Washington athletic director Mike Lude turned the big 100! Friends, family, former players, and former colleagues gathered in the emerald city to celebrate Lude’s big day.

GP M.A.D.E. Foundation President and Founder Gary Pinkel, former Kent State player and University of Washington assistant coach under athletic director Mike Lude and head football coach Don James, honored Lude with a special tribute and congratulations on an honorable career in college football. Pinkel, a College Football Hall of Fame coach, was one of 10 speakers asked to comment on the life and era of Lude’s career.

Coach Pinkel spoke about Lude’s extraordinary years of leadership and also the hiring of his mentor and coach Don James at Kent while acknowledging Lude’s historical mark on college athletics.

Carol James, wife of the late former head football coach of University of Washington, Don James, is pictured below with football athletic administrative staff from the 1970s and 1980s who also attended the special occasion in honor of Mike Lude’s 100th birthday.

Carol James and Friends

Former coaches and players of past Rose Bowl Championships from University of Washington also reunited after many years to rekindle a very special bond.

1982 Rose Bowl Champions

We are so grateful to all our teams for participating in our golf tournament and supporting the GP M.A.D.E. Foundation. Enjoy this year’s team photos.

Congratulations to Love Columbia on their ribbon cutting today! GP M.A.D.E. Foundation was happy to underwrite the Children’s Room at Love Columbia and also to provide funding to turn the room into “THE ZOU” complete with a jungle mural and stuffed animals.

Love Columbia is a non-profit organization that helps people and families with socioeconomic challenges find the resources they need to love people forward. GP M.A.D.E is proud to partner with Love Columbia and hopes THE ZOU will bring cheer and comfort to children who may be experiencing uncertainty.

For more info about love Columbia go to lovecolumbiamo.org

Gary and Missy Pinkel are pictured in the back row along with Carson Coffman, Love Columbia board president. In the front row are Greg DeLine, GP M.A.D.E. Foundation supporter and board member of Love Columbia, and Jane Williams, Love Columbia founder and executive director.
Carson Coffman and Jane Williams cut the ceremonial ribbon at the new Love Columbia center.
Welcome to THE ZOU — the Children’s Room at the new Love Columbia center, funded by GP M.A.D.E.

Coach Pinkel had no idea that he would receive proclamations from the Missouri House and Senate honoring his Hall of Fame induction. And he also had NO idea that after the ceremonies, he would also be attending a surprise birthday party!

Friends, family, colleagues and former players gathered at Madison’s restaurant in downtown Jefferson City to share a meal and wish Coach Pinkel a happy birthday. The highlight of the event was the video of funny and heartwarming birthday and congratulatory wishes compiled from all over the country. You can watch the video below and check out photos from the birthday party here.