At an age when some career veterans are ready to kick back, Al Fracassa looks forward to coaching kickers, blockers, tacklers and quarterbacks.
He'll return for a final year as football head coach at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Township, Brad Galli of WXYZ is the first to report Sunday afternoon.
The legendary 80-year old coach announced at the team’s banquet Sunday he will return for another season in 2013. "Next year will be my 45th and final season," he said.
Fracassa has guided the Warriors to nine state championships in 44 seasons at Brother Rice. He has coached for 53 years total. The back-to-back titles his team won the past two seasons were the first in his tenure.
Brother Rice went 12-2 this season.
Its coach has won 416 games -- more than any football coach in Michigan history. His teams have lost 121 times and tied seven games.
Still, his return wasn't a sure thing, as Detroit News sports columnist Terry Foster wrote Nov. 24 after the state championship game:
Fracassa does not want to leave as Rice's football coach. He wants to stand on the sidelines for another year. But the reality is some inside the Rice family believe he is too old and too antiquated. They want Fracassa to become a figurehead who has an office in the school and oversees football operations. Fracassa is not a shiny trophy you stack in a glass case. He is not some old guy you stack in the corner for rich boosters to shake his hand.
Yeah, he is old. But he remains in touch and in tune with the game.