Calumet High School girls basketball coach and former Purdue University Calumet player Dori Downing will receive the university’s prestigious athletic alumni award Saturday (11/7) during homecoming festivities on campus.
Downing, a 1988 Purdue Calumet alumna, will be presented the Purdue Alumni Calumet’s annual Bob Hayes Athletic Alumni Award during halftime of the 4 p.m. Purdue Calumet vs. Indiana University Northwest men’s basketball game. The award recognizes distinguished alumni achievement in the field of athletics.
“I loved every single minute of my experience as a student and athlete at Purdue Calumet,” Downing said. “My love for the game (of basketball) has a lot to do with my experience at PUC—my teammates, coaches and many of the other personnel I came into contact with at Purdue Calumet…Coach (Stacey) Zurek taught me more than just about the game; she taught us about teamwork, working together and caring about one another—three things I focus on to this day…I cannot express eloquently enough how proud I am to be selected for this award; it means the world to me!”
Downing played four seasons for the Purdue Calumet women’s basketball teams (1983-87) while earning a baccalaureate degree in behavioral sciences (1988). She also returned to Purdue Calumet to complete study for teacher licensure (2008).
The former two-sport Munster High School standout is entering her 14th season as head girls basketball coach at Calumet, where she has directed the Lady Warriors to six conference championships and three sectional titles. She also is a two-time Coach of the Year honoree in the former Lake Athletic Conference and again last season in the Greater South Shore Conference.
The namesake of her award is a 37-year coach, athletic director, faculty member and statistician who served Purdue Calumet from 1952 through 1989. Hayes also will be honored Saturday as one of five inductees of the Purdue Calumet Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009-10, joining Ed Blackmon (men’s basketball, 1981-83), Lee Ann DeYoung (women’s basketball, 1984-88), Larry Liddle (men’s basketball coach, 1981-2000) and Rod Weingart (soccer & baseball, 1969-72).
Purdue Calumet homecoming activities Saturday (11/7) begin with a women’s basketball game pitting the host Peregrines vs. Spring Arbor (Mich.) University at 2 p.m. A reception for all Purdue Calumet alumni and their families also will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the campus’ Calumet Conference Center.