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Scott McNeal, creator of Gus Macker basketball tournaments, named 2011 Homecoming Grand Marshal


Scott McNeal was speechless when he learned he was the 2011 Central Michigan University Homecoming Grand Marshal.

The 1979 alumnus will assist in various activities before the Chippewa football team takes on Eastern Michigan University Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

“I’ve known Scott a long time and I’ve never known him to be speechless,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Marcie Otteman. “When we called Scott and asked him to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal, he couldn’t talk.”

The 1979 alumnus succeeds former Grand Marshals like former trustee and Merrill Lynch Senior Vice President John Kulhavi and Amy Roloff, star of “Little People, Big World.”

According to Otteman, a committee is formed each spring that suggests candidates from a running list of famous and influential alumni. The Grand Marshal is chosen in the late summer, she said.

“Scott was so humbled by being asked to serve as Grand Marshal,” Otteman said. “It was the best ask we’ve ever had. Being a Grand Marshal is a very honorary position."

McNeal will attend a pep rally on Friday evening at Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium, ride in the parade on Saturday, be honored during a halftime ceremony with University President George Ross and attend other alumni activities.

“It’s a great way to allow alumni to pay tribute to CMU and talk about what it means to them,” Otteman said.

According to the CMU 2011 Homecoming website, McNeal started the nation’s largest three-on-three basketball tournament series in 1974. The Gus Macker tournament has grown to include more than 200,000 players and 1.7 million spectators participating in 75 cities annually.

Lake Orion senior Stephanie McClung managed Gus Macker’s social media at CMU last year. She said McNeal was a great choice for Grand Marshal.

“If there’s one thing that Scott loves more than Gus Macker, it’s CMU,” McClung said. “The guy literally bleeds maroon and gold.”

McNeal describes Gus Macker as “Chevrolet and mom’s apple pie."

“It’s something for the whole family,” she said.