Giving, caring, patient, kind, thoughtful, generous, humble, and an amazing role model for the youth and adults of the Portage Township community...all qualities that describe this week's Portage Life in the Spotlight: Mike Plance. A gentle and soft-spoken man, Mike was born in Gary, Indiana and moved to South Haven with his family as a child.
He's quick to inform you that his passion is coaching. That much is evident, not only by the smile that lights his face when he speaks about it, but, the 30 years that he has coached South Haven Little League and has never had a child on the team. He has also coached for the Boys and Girls Club. An athlete at Portage High School, he decided to forego sports his junior and senior years there to coach instead. He coaches soccer, baseball, and is on the coaching staff of the Portage High School Bowling Team. Mike is a brother to 5 sisters and 1 brother and is the 2nd youngest of the 7.
Mike is currently employed at Arcelormittal where he has been a brick layer for 19 years. He makes the daily 3 a.m. drive to Riverdale, IL. to work these early hours to allow plenty of time in the afternoon and evening for coaching. In 2012, his team of 11-12 year old's made it to state, the first time in 50 years.
A little known fact about Mike is that he loves watching Sponge Bob and is a cartoon fanatic.
Mike shared that he had been recently named the NYI (Nazarene Youth International) for the South Haven Nazarene Church where he is helping start a Youth Ministry Program. The program has grown to 20 teens in 5 short weeks.
"I get to give back to the community what God has given me, a passion for working with children," he said.
Mike and his wife of 23 years live in Portage and have 2 daughters.