Clark Bell grew up in Birmingham, MI running cross-country, track, and playing ice hockey in between. Arriving at the University of Michigan, he was introduced to the game of lacrosse and was an instant midfielder. Starting in the first game he ever witnessed, he played from 1971 until 1977 and played briefly for the Detroit men’s club team.
Clark returned to the game in 1987 when former teammate, adversary and Hall of Famer Dana Friend encouraged him to help with officiating. Learning from people like Graham Adams, Dana Friend, and Roger Pattee, Clark has officiated over 25 years at levels from youth to Division 1, as well as internationally. He has worked in twenty states and at several international venues.
Clark helped co-found and was the first president of the Michigan Lacrosse Officials Association (MichLOA). In 1997, he started assigning games for all youth and high school games in southeast Michigan and continued until 2003. In 1999, he became the head assignor for the newly formed Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association and continues in that role today.
Recognizing the need for training, Clark became a US Lacrosse Clinician in 2000 and started MichLOA training sessions for new officials in 2001 and continues as one of the lead trainers until 2009.
In 2009, Clark became President of the Michigan Chapter of US Lacrosse. Being an active member of the Board of the Lacrosse Foundation and the Chapter, Clark has helped in the running of most, if not all of, the twenty years of the Chapter’s 7 v 7 tournament. Clark was instrumental in its growth to a two-day tournament and today it ranks as one of the best fundraisers (and greatest events) among USL chapters across the country.
Clark and his wife Lynn have two children, Doug and Margaret, who both played lacrosse and were the reason Clark took up sports photography. He has become a contributor to Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine. He is currently the staff photographer for the Vail Shootout.
Susan Ford grew up in Grosse Pointe and attended University Liggett High School. She first started in lacrosse when her school started a program and recruited some of the field hockey players to play. Ford, a longtime fixture in the sport, was inducted in the US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame as a truly great contributor for contributions in the fields of coaching, umpiring, development and service.
A four year player at Connecticut College after her high school career in Michigan, she later coached at Concord Academy and Wellesley College where she led her team to an undefeated regular season. Her 1990 squad saw even greater success as they reached the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament while setting a school record for victories. The New England Women’s Eight Conference named her Coach of the Year in 1990.
At the post-collegiate level, Ford coached Boston and New England club teams. An umpire for 35 years, Ford served on the United States Women’s Lacrosse Association Board of Directors for many years and, as its President, helped transition the USWLA into US Lacrosse in 1998. She also received the National Emeritus ranking in 2001 by the National Umpiring Committee.
Ford served on the Board of Directors for the US Lacrosse Foundation from 1998 to 2003. Along with being in the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Ford has previously been inducted into the Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame (1991) and the US Lacrosse New England Hall of Fame (1997). She has also received the Nancy Chance Service Award in 2002. She is a special person and we are honored to have her as a member of our Hall of Fame.
Bert Smith is a 28 year veteran lacrosse official, part of a 45 year history with the game of lacrosse. He was the first referee in the Grand Rapids area and has been a recruiter, trainer, and mentor to many officials in West Michigan. In 2014, he officiated his seventh MHSAA State Championship game.
Bert began his lacrosse career in 1960 at William Hall High School in West Hartford, CT. After developing a love for the game in his three years at Hall, Bert went on to play at the varsity at the University of Connecticut.
A job transfer took him to Grand Rapids and in 1981 he helped form the Grand Rapids Lacrosse Club with Mike Campbell, another US Lacrosse- Michigan Hall of Fame member. Along with playing club ball for the next 14 years, Bert was pressed into service as an official in 1984 in order to help fill the void, since there were no refs in the area.
Along with Mike Campbell, Tom Mitchell, Rich Kimball, they formed the inaugural Michigan Chapter of the Lacrosse Foundation, now US Lacrosse. The group was responsible for helping to start lacrosse in the Grand Rapids area at Forest Hills Central and East Grand Rapids High schools, the first in West Michigan, and now with a long tradition of lacrosse excellence. As an official, Bert has refereed games at every level, from 3rd grade through high school, college and post-graduate impart a love for the game, knowledge of the rules and the importance of good sportsmanship.
In 2009, Bert was recognized for his efforts with the US Lacrosse Youth Official of the Year award. In the same year, Bert was also inducted into the first class of the Michigan High School Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Now, because of all of these efforts, on and off the field, we are now proud to induct him as a member of the Michigan Hall of Fame.
Bob Stevenson played lacrosse at MSU on the club team, and then on MSU’s first three varsity teams (1970 through1972). He earned three varsity letters and was recognized as MSU’s highest-GPA varsity athlete.
Bob coached the MSU squad in 1973, notably notching MSU’s first varsity win against the Ohio State varsity squad, and coaching USLM Hall of Famer Ron Hebert, who led the NCAA in saves as MSU’s goalie. Bob resigned to attend law school, but continued in lacrosse as a referee.
Bob coached the Pioneer High School boys’ varsity team from 1999 through 2004, sharing one regular season championship and sending a number of players to college and even to professional lacrosse. He and others started a youth league in Ann Arbor for boys and girls that raised the level of lacrosse in Ann Arbor.
Bob had two daughters (Ruth and Kate) who played lacrosse, which led Bob into the women’s game. He coached girls’ youth teams, club teams (including Detroit Lacrosse) and ultimately the MSU Women’s Club from 2005 through 2008. During his tenure, MSU won a league championship, went to two national championship tournaments, and finished as high as 8th nationally.
Bob was a member of the Board of the Michigan Chapter of U. S. Lacrosse from 2004 to 2014, and served as President from 2005 to 2008. During this time, chapter activities were significantly increased, as were chapter revenues.
Bob’s life has been greatly enriched by lacrosse. Most of all, Bob values the great people he has met, and the lifetime friendships he has made, through lacrosse. He wishes “Lacrosse Love” to all!