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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Friday, November 23, 2012

If Al Fracassa retires, it would be the perfect time

Passion has no boundaries. It's hard for us mere mortals to understand how hard it is for a longtime football coach to step away from the sport that has come to define them in the athletic arena. But, if anyone read through the lines of Brother Rice coach Al Fracassa's post-game press conference Friday afternoon after his team's 35-28 win over Muskegon, you know it's the perfect time for the state's all-time winningest coach to sail off into the sunset.
He said as much himself.
“Football has done so much for me,” Fracassa said when asked indirectly about his future. “It got me a scholarship at Michigan State. I played football, baseball and basketball in high school. Sports mean a lot to me and I’d like to give it back. If I could coach in some capacity, if the good Lord gives me good health, I’d like to maybe help somebody out.”
I don't want to be the one to speculate on who would replace Fracassa, but Dave Sofran's name keeps popping up in rumor circles. He's the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, has been on the coaching staff since 2000 and is a 1996 Rice grad. I'd say those are the perfect credentials to warrant taking over for a legend.
But back to Fracassa. He's won more games (416) than any other head coach in the history of high school football in Michigan. And he's won eight state championships (1977, 1980, 1983, 1990, 2000, 2005, 2011 and 2012). As you can see, his last two were the first back-to-back titles in his 44 years coaching. And he just turned 80 years old this past year.
So the timing couldn't be more perfect. He's a great man, a great leader. He'd be leaving his team in good hands. And he'd be leaving his successor a talented group of boys for 2013. His passion has not died. He's just ready to ignite it in the next coach of the Warriors.


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