The Brother Rice High School Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced the following inductees into its class of 2015 during a recent school assembly.
The group of new inductees includes four individuals from four different sports and one entire team. Greg Collins (’71, football), David Lynn (’01, tennis), Jon English (’79, football, track and field) and D.J. LeMahieu (’07, baseball) are the individual inductees, while the entire 1974 football team also will be enshrined.
Collins was a member of the recently-retired head coach Al Fracassa’s first team at Brother Rice in fall 1969. In addition to that first, he was the first high school football All-American from Brother Rice, the first college All-American from Brother Rice and the first professional football player from Brother Rice.
In 1973, he helped the University of Notre Dame capture a national championship and was named a captain the following season. A year later, he was the 35th pick in the second round of the NFL draft. He went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and the Buffalo Bills.
Collins lives in California and works as an actor appearing in movies, television shows and commercials.
English was Brother Rice’s starting quarterback from his sophomore season in 1976 through his senior season in 1978. His teams won two Catholic League championships and a state championship in 1977. He was three-time Catholic all-league, two-time all-state and an All-American his senior year.
English accepted a scholarship to Michigan State University, but finished a successful collegiate career at Tulane University. In track and field, English scored in the state championship meet as a junior and a senior. In 1979, he finished third in the state in high jump after jumping 6 feet, 11 inches, which is still a school record and would be good enough to win the state title in all but three of the last 40 years.
In 1979, English was named Most Outstanding Athlete for his accomplishments in track and field and football.
Lynn is the best tennis player to ever walk the halls of Brother Rice. He played No. 1 singles all four years, appearing in four straight state final championships, winning the prestigious singles flight title his junior and senior years and winning four straight Catholic League individual championships. He finished his prep career with an all-time record of 120-3.
Brother Rice captured four straight team Catholic League titles and four straight Division 1 state championships during his years – an unprecedented accomplishment by any tennis team before or since. Foregoing a shot at professional tennis, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he played one year at No. 2 and three years at No. 1 singles. He earned all-Ivy League three seasons and was a two-year captain both at Rice and Penn.
After earning his degree from the Wharton School of Business, he went on to earn an MBA from the London School of Business.
LeMahieu is the first major league baseball player to graduate from Brother Rice. His career high school batting average was .459 with 201 hits. In his senior year, he hit .574 with eight home runs, 16 doubles, seven triples, 70 runs, 32 RBIs and 39 stolen bases. He was named an Aflac All-American his junior year, the Louisville Slugger Player of the Year for the state of Michigan and a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year.
In 2009, he led the LSU Tigers to the NCAA national championship and was named to the 2009 College World Series all-tournament team. After a successful collegiate career, he has found success at the major league level. He made his MLB debut May 30, 2011, with the Chicago Cubs. In 2014, his first year as a full-time starter, he was awarded the National League second baseman Gold Glove Award for the Colorado Rockies. His career batting average is .276 with nine home runs and 96 RBIs.
The 1974 football team finished the season as the state’s top-ranked squad and was listed among the top 25 in the nation. This was the team often referred to as the “mythical” state champion as it was declared the state’s top team by the the coaches association. The current state playoff formally sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association did not begin until the 1975 season.
The inductees will be recognized during the annual Alumni Boxing Night Event to be held Friday, Feb. 6, at Brother Rice on Friday. A reception in their honor will be held Saturday, Feb. 7, at Andiamo’s in Bloomfield Township. The new members will be immortalized with a plaque that will hang in the halls of Brother Rice.
Brother Rice High School is recognized as having one of the most successful high school athletic programs in the nation. The school has earned 65 team state championships and more than 60 individual student-athletes have been named state champions in Brother Rice’s 54 years of existence.
Brother Rice established its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 in order to honor those student-athletes, coaches and staff members who helped develop and build Brother Rice’s athletic Tradition of Excellence. The historic first class included:
•B.J. Armstrong ’85: three-time NBA champion
•Coach Al Fracassa: 10-time state champion football coach with 430 victories
•Mike Lodish ’85: two time Super Bowl champion, six-time Super Bowl participant
•Coach Bill Norton: coach of the 1974 state championship basketball team, long-time A.D. and teacher
•Mike Popson: long-time athletic director, coach and teacher
•Coach Bob Stark ’64: long-time teacher, cross country and track coach
Since that time, additional inductees have been added to the Hall, including:
•Brian Brennan ’80: 10-year NFL veteran
•Coach Jim Rademacher: seven-time state champion golf coach
•Pat Davey ’74: 1973 cross country state champion
•Coach Rob Ambrose: coach of the 2008 national champion lacrosse team and 16-time state champion
•The 1974 basketball team: the school’s first team state championship
•Kevin Hart ’75: all-state and All-American in football, 1977 national championship with Notre Dame
•Pete Mitchell ’90: Boston College All-American, eight-year NFL career
•Ron “Coach Kal” Kalczynski: varsity football defensive coordinator 23 years, 15-year varsity baseball coach with two state championships (1992 and 1994).
For more information on this event, go to http://brrice.edu/ahof/.