News Releases

St. Michael Academy Strengthens Athletic Department with New Director and Coaches

PETOSKEY, MI, August 10, 2018 == St. Michael Academy (“SMA”), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, today presented its new Athletic Department, strengthened for the 2018-19 School Year. SMA welcomes its new Athletic Director, Mr. Larry Rudnicki; new coaches Dr. Richard Brake, Mr. Shea Whitmore, and Ms. Colleen Mikelson; and returning veteran coach Mr. Dan Fletcher.

Mr. Rudnicki has coached high school Cross Country and Track for nearly 20 years. He spent the last seven years at Palmer Ridge High School (Colorado) and Exceler8 Track Club where he coached year-round, helping build a national-caliber distance program and helping lead the school to five State Championships since 2014. He holds a B.S.E. and M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and was formerly a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company.

In addition to his duties as Athletic Director, Mr. Rudnicki will also be Head Coach of the SMA Cross Country teams and an Assistant Coach for the Boys Basketball team.

Mr. Rudnicki stated, “I’m thrilled to join SMA and assist its growth as a leading Catholic high school. My primary focus is to promote a ‘culture of excellence’ in SMA Athletics. Through year-round opportunities to train and compete in a variety of sports, we’ll increase strength and fitness while instilling essential virtues. I believe Athletics, properly and vigorously pursued, meshes seamlessly with our objective to ‘develop the whole person,’ preparing students to navigate life with intention and confidence.”

Mr. Fletcher returns to SMA for his fourth season as Head Coach of its Volleyball team. He has extensive coaching experience, primarily at Inland Lakes High School, where he led its Volleyball, Softball, and Football teams for a total of 31 seasons. Among his many accomplishments, his Volleyball teams at Inland Lakes featured 24 All-State players while racking up ten consecutive conference titles.

As announced previously, SMA’s Principal, Dr. Brake, will be Head Coach of the Boys Basketball team. He has previously coached basketball at the high school, middle school, and youth levels. Dr. Brake was a 3-sport athlete in high school, earning All-State honors in Cross Country and Track.

Also as announced previously, SMA Latin and English teacher Mr. Whitmore will be an Assistant Basketball Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Head Coach of Boys Golf. He was recently a football player at Hillsdale College and was previously a star 3-sport athlete at Petoskey High School.

SMA Science Teacher Ms. Mikelson will be an Assistant Cross Country Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Nordic Skiing Coach. She has excelled in a variety of strength and endurance sports during and since high school, including Nordic skiing, distance running, weightlifting, rowing, and swimming, and is still competing. She was captain of her crew team at Northern Michigan University.

Since opening in 2013, SMA is the first Catholic high school in the Little Traverse area since 1972, and Northern Michigan’s only high school offering a Classical Curriculum. SMA strives to develop the whole person, cultivating academic, moral, and all-around excellence in its students, from within a caring and attentive environment. SMA is accepting students for enrollment in the fall semester.

For more information, please visit or contact Marie Law at or 231-330-2835.