Pete Tillotson - Inductee - 2005

Ludington High became the first team in Mason County to reach the state finals in basketball. With Pete Tillotson at center, Joe Kowatch coached the Orioles to a 21-2 record and a state runner-up finish in 1952. In 1953, the Orioles were 18-4 and a state semifinalist. Tillotson was the Orioles' leading scorer and an all-stater in both seasons. At Ludington, the 6 foot 6 inch tall Tillotson set then records for the most points in a career (1,176), a season (564) and a single game (42). He was regarded as the finest high school center in the state in 1954. The late Dick Derrick, then the sports editor of the Ludington Daily News, called Hawley Gymnasium "The House That Tillotson Built". Tillotson played basketball at the University of Michigan and was captain of the Wolverines in 1958. During the year that he captained the team, he led them in scoring at 18.7 points per game and also averaged 10 rebounds. He was the team's Most Valuable Player and earned second-team, All Big Ten honors. Taken in the fifth round of the National Basketball Association's draft by the Syracuse Nationals, he was injured in the pro team's camp. In 1958-59, he played professionally with Milan Simmenthal in Italy. He averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds and Milan finished second for the European championship. In 1960, he played with the Syracuse Nationals before dislocating his knee. He retains a high regard for the time he spent in Ludington. "I owe a great deal of gratitude to my parents for their attention, devotion and discipline during my early years," said Tillotson. "Outstanding teachers who demonstrated perseverance, integrity and patience include Joe Kowatch, Dan Evans and Hal Madden, who spent a lot of time and effort making us better players and good citizens. My Ludington coaches and teachers were exceptional motivators and leaders." Tillotson went on to have a successful business career, working for Ford Motor Company, Paine Webber, Goldman Sachs and General Electric before retiring in 2001.