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Cardinal Mooney basketball has long been a family commitment

Basketball   | Scott Burnstein

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Marine City – Coaching basketball at Marine City Cardinal Mooney has long been a family endeavor.

Since 1990 a member of the McAndrews family has coached either, girls, boys or both. The brother-sister tandem of Mike McAndrews and Susan Everhart, each an alum of the school, have manned the boys and girls benches respectively for the past 17 years. Both have coached their squads into a Class D state championship game.

“There’s such a history there,” Everhart said. “For one family to be involved like this for so long makes it really special.”

Last week Everhart resigned after 25 years of coaching from the girls program to spend more time with her three sons. It’s a program she built into a consistent small-school contender. Her oldest son, Daniel, is a 15-year old sophomore who is expected to start in the backcourt for McAndrews’ boys team this season.

Everhart doesn’t dismiss the idea of returning to the sidelines in the future once her boys are out of high school.

“I could come back, I’m probably not hanging up the towel forever,” she said. “I definitely haven’t lost any passion for coaching or for the game of basketball. But I’ll never be able to get these years of watching my sons play back, so I didn’t want to miss it.”

The McAndrews clan dates back to the pre-Marine City days at Cardinal Mooney. Everhart, her sister and two brothers, all attended the school when it was located in Mount Clemens (the school moved to Marine City in the early 1990s). Their mom taught at the school in the 1970s. Jim McAndrews, the family’s eldest child, coached the boys team at Cardinal Mooney from 1990-98, at which point his younger brother, Mike, a 1993 grad, took over. Everhart took over the girls program in 1991.

“My brother Jim and sister Susan have had such a tremendous influence on me,” Mike said. “They taught me so much.”

As a senior playing for his older brother, Jim, Mike McAndrews was the captain on the team that won the school’s only Catholic League title. After playing collegiately at Concordia University in Chicago, he immediately returned to the area and replaced his brother at the helm of the program.

“It’s a lot more than just basketball with us,” Mike said. “The relationships I’ve built, and I think Susan would say the same, is what I’m most proud of. That’s the biggest reward.”

Everhart credits Dave Jackson, a former Cardinal Mooney girls and boys coach and Macomb L’Anse Creuse North principle, as a mentor to her and her bothers. Jackson died in 2012.

“We’re all byproducts of him,” Everhart said. “All the positive attributes we’ve tried to instill in our players, he instilled in us.

“Everything comes down to hard work and effort, grinding it out every play, every minute of a game on both ends of the floor. You get into coaching for the pure love of the game. You quickly realize what an impact you can make and that sustains you.”

In addition to her three final four appearances, four trips to the quarterfinals and numerous district and league titles, Everhart boasts 357 career wins. She guided her team to the state final in 2009. Mike guided his team to the final the following season.

“That was such an exciting time for everybody, it’s something you’ll never forget and always cherish,” she said. “The whole Cardinal Mooney community will.”

Everhart’s replacement has yet to be named. Whoever that person is they will receive Everhart’s support from the start.

“I’ll help with the transition,” she said. “I feel obligated to for what we’ve been able to build. There’s just been too much blood, sweat and tears put forth by so many people to not want to help keep things moving on the right track.”