Friend, Drook to be honored at PUC homecoming Saturday (2/9)

Retired Purdue University Calumet athletic director John Friend and alumna and former basketball player Brenda (Clark) Drook will be honored during Purdue University Calumet homecoming festivities on campus Saturday (2/9).

Friend, who headed Purdue Calumet’s athletic program from 1980 until his retirement in 2001 and also served as athletics consultant last year, will be introduced as the charter inductee of the Purdue Calumet Athletic Hall of Fame. The recognition will take place between games of the Purdue Calumet-Judson College women’s-men’s doubleheader. Tip-off for each game is at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

“We are excited about the institution of a Purdue University Calumet Athletic Hall of Fame and look forward to recognizing the men and women who have contributed to our athletic heritage,” current Purdue Calumet Athletic Director and Asst. Vice Chancellor for Health, Recreation & Sports Robert Bunnell said. “As our charter inductee, we cannot think of any person who better embodies the spirit of the University and our athletic program than John Friend.”

Drook, who this season became the third female in Indiana high school history to serve as head coach of a varsity boys basketball team (Hebron High School), will receive the Purdue Alumni Association-Calumet’s annual Bob Hayes Athletic Alumni Award.

The namesake of Drook’s award is another retired Purdue Calumet athletic director, who also served the University as a coach, faculty member and sports statistician for some 37 years. The award is presented annually to a former Purdue Calumet athlete or other graduate who has distinguished oneself in sports/athletics or another field following his/her Purdue Calumet years.

“Her accomplishments as an educator and coach and the positive influence she has had on so many young people make Brenda a deserving recipient of this year’s Bob Hayes Award,” Purdue Calumet Director of Alumni Relations Leticia Toma said.

Drook will be recognized at halftime of the men’s game, as well as attend an alumni reception, sponsored by the Purdue Alumni Association-Calumet, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. in the Fitness & Recreation Center.

The Portage native and three-sport standout was a three-year starter at point guard for Purdue Calumet during the mid-1980s. After graduating with a degree in elementary education, she began her teaching/coaching career in Illinois. She has been at Hebron since 1994, having also coached girls softball (three years), girls volleyball (14 years) and junior varsity boys basketball (13 years) squads. As volleyball coach, she led her squads to two sectional, three Porter County Conference and two PCC tournament titles.