Dan Pupel - Swing Instuctor -- Head Coach Dan Pupel is no stranger to Aquinas College. Pupel has an affiliation with the college that dates back nearly 50 years. He was a standout performer on the men’s team from 1954-1957. During that time, the team had three undefeated seasons and Pupel was a strong leader on those teams. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in
History and went on to earn a Masters Degree in Education from Michigan State University. Upon graduation, Pupel turned professional and was an assistant pro at Kent Country Club in Grand Rapids, MI. During this period he coached the Aquinas College men’s team to three outstanding seasons from 1959-61.
Pupel has always considered himself a teacher. Whether it was in the classroom teaching history and english for 30 years at Forest Hills Central High School, or on the golf course. Pupel comments, “I have always enjoyed working with young people and
challenging them to get the best out of themselves. I knew a long time ago that teaching was in my blood. I never second guessed myself and I really enjoy working with the young women at Aquinas College.”
While at Forest Hills Central High School, Pupel coached boys' golf for 30 years. He also coached the girls' golf team for 15 years. During this time, his teams won 25 league championships (including eleven in a row with the boys' squad from 1979-1990), 14
regional championships and eight state runner-up finishes. Pupel was named Michigan Golf Coach of the Year three times and was inducted into the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991.
Coach Pupel is currently in his 12th year as the Aquinas women's golf coach. Dan and his wife, Sheila (Smith '58), a professor who passed away in 1999, had five children and, at one time, four of them attended Aquinas simultaneously. All are Aquinas graduates. In 1988, Pupel was awarded the prestigious "Outstanding Teacher Award" from the University of Chicago. He served two terms as a
Kent County Commissioner and six years on the Aquinas Emeritus Board. Pupel possesses an intense love of golf, and is still both an avid player and a patient teacher of the game.
For all of Coach Pupel’s contributions to Aquinas College, he was inducted into the prestigious Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2007.
Pupel guided the Saints to their first ever WHAC conference championship in his first year guiding the program. He received WHAC Coach of the Year that season. Pupel comments, “I have always loved Aquinas College. It is an extremely important part of my life
and my families life. I’ve been blessed to have such wonderful young ladies on the golf team.”