NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- The Awards Committee of the Bethel College Alumni Association has selected Greg Raleigh, Hesston, as the recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2005. Raleigh will receive the award, which has been presented annually since 1960, at the college’s annual alumni banquet May 21 on the North Newton campus.
Raleigh graduated from Bethel in 1984 with a major in physical education and health, and a minor in mathematical sciences. He taught math and coached basketball, football and track for 10 years at Clearwater, Lebo and Lyons High Schools. In 1988, Lebo won the Kansas 2A basketball championship under his leadership.
Raleigh and his family moved back to the Hesston-Newton area in 1994, when Raleigh began working as an agent for American Family Insurance. He continued to coach basketball, at Bethel College where he was an assistant coach to Mark Yoder in 1994-95 and 1995-96, and at Halstead High School.
He is president and founder of the Mid-America Youth Basketball (MAYB) program for the Newton-Wichita area. MAYB is a national organization, now in its 12th year, which hosted more than 180 tournaments in 23 states in 2004.
Through hosting tournaments, MAYB fulfills its mission of providing youth an opportunity to develop their basketball skills during the summer months, which is what Raleigh says initially got his attention. "I knew a lot of kids who wanted to play basketball and there weren’t many options," he says. "I read about a similar program in Wisconsin, called the number given, and that’s how it got started."
The largest of the MAYB tournaments, which takes place annually in central Kansas, attracted nearly 800 teams from 20 states last June.
Raleigh was born in McPherson and grew up in Halstead. Then Bethel football coach Kent Rogers recruited Raleigh to play football at Bethel after Raleigh’s freshman year at another area college.
"I didn’t come from the ‘traditional Mennonite family,’" Raleigh says, "but I met a lot of good people at Bethel. It was a time of learning, and I still keep in contact with people like [associate professor of health management] Russ Graber and [associate professor of health management and athletic director] Diane Flickner."
Raleigh is married to Carol (Neufeld) Raleigh and they have four children--Morgan, 19, Lauren, 16, Taylor, 14, and Grant, 8. They are members of Hesston Mennonite Church.