Benton Harbor's Herb Quade dead at 74

September 12, 2001

Benton Harbor's Herb Quade dead at 74

Pat Clark presents Herb Quade with an award for his 50+ year of service as a high school official in March of 2001.

By AL AREND / H-P Sports Writer

BENTON HARBOR - One of southwest Michigan's most popular sports figures has passed away.

Herb Quade, former longtime Benton Harbor High School athletic director, sports official and radio personality, died Tuesday at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, of an apparent brain aneurysm.

He was 74.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete this morning at Starks & Menchinger through Legacy Family Funeral Service, Matthew R. Purchase chapel.

"I just loved the man," said Bob Cuhran, Quade's co-host on WSJM's current radio program 'The Coaches.' "I didn't think yesterday could get any worse, but it did. Herb's been by my side for years. He was just a wonderful man. Good old Herbie Quade. Everything is going to be a little different without Herb Quade. I have nothing but total respect for Herb. He just knew everything about everything. He was so knowledgeable, especially when it came to Benton Harbor sports.

"The only thing I can say is he was almost like a grandfather to everybody, your best friend," noted WJSM's sportscaster Phil McDonald. "I never heard a bad thing said about him. The last few years going to Tiger basketball games with him was amazing. Everyone we met knew Herb Quade. It was like we were right here at home. Even when he wasn't feeling well he was always in a good mood. His spirits were always high."

Quade was Benton Harbor High School athletic director for 17 years, retiring in 1988. He was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association in 1988.

He had been involved in high school sports as a coach, administrator and official for over 50 years, including 29 at Benton Harbor. He was honored by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association for 25 years of service in athletic administration, 25 years of coaching and 25 years of officiating.

"I didn't sleep well last night after hearing about Herb," said Paul Wilhite, retired Benton Harbor basketball coach. "I've known him for a long time. He gave me my first varsity job as varsity baseball coach and girls basketball coach.

"He always supported me all the way through," added Wilhite. "If you made a mistake, he would call you in his office and talk about it, and you would never hear about it outside that office. He would always support you. When he left he told me to make sure I took care of the gym. If he came in and saw something he didn't like he let me know about it. He always wanted to make sure everything was right. I'll always look up to him. He knew how to take care of business."

"He was always doing something," recalled current Benton Harbor girls basketball and baseball coach Lou Harvey. "It seemed like I still saw him every day even after he retired. He just wasn't picking up a paycheck. He was still doing things for the kids and everyone else. He'd follow our baseball team and would come sit in the dugout."

Quade and Cuhran started the popular "Coaches Corner" on WHFB, 12 years ago before moving over to WSJM a year ago.

Quade coached the Hartford basketball and football teams in the early 1950s. His 1952-53 Hartford basketball team finished at 20-3 and earned the school's only regional and quarterfinal titles in school history. The Indians lost a controversial double overtime Class C state semifinal game to Saginaw St. Peter & Paul on a disputed basket.

Quade was also starting center on the 1944 Benton harbor St. John's Class D state championship basketball team.

After graduating from St. John's, Quade attended Michigan State University for year before serving in the U.S. Army for 32 months. He reached the rank of captain.

Quade then returned to complete his studies, earning his degree from MSU in 1949. He began his coaching and teaching career that fall at Hartford. In 1954, Quade became athletic director and coach at Holly. He stayed until 1959 when he returned to Benton harbor as the junior high athletic director and freshmen football, basketball and track coach.

He moved over the high school in 1968 coaching varsity track and baseball. He finally realized a life-long dream in 1972 when he was named athletic director.

He was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985.

Quade is survived by his wife, Florine, and six sons and two daughters. He was active in the Benton Harbor's Lions Club, Coast Guard Auxiliary and St. John's Catholic church.

He was also St. Joseph River Harbor Master.