First-year Warren De La Salle football coach Dan Rohn talks with his players during a Sept. 26 game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. At press time, the Pilots were 1-1 overall.

First-year Warren De La Salle football coach Dan Rohn talks with his players during a Sept. 26 game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. At press time, the Pilots were 1-1 overall.

Photos by Deb Jacques


Rohn, De La Salle ready for new era

By: Zachary Manning | Warren Weekly | Published October 2, 2020

 Warren De La Salle’s Brett Stanley runs down the sideline Sept. 26 against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. The Pilots were scheduled to play Novi Detroit Catholic Central after press time.

Warren De La Salle’s Brett Stanley runs down the sideline Sept. 26 against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. The Pilots were scheduled to play Novi Detroit Catholic Central after press time.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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WARREN — With league titles, deep playoff runs and state championships being a regular part of the Warren De La Salle tradition, new football coach Dan Rohn knew he wanted to be a part of it.

Rohn took over in March for the departing Mike Giannone, who is now the head man at New Baltimore Anchor Bay.

The Pilots’ new coach is no stranger to success. Rohn won four state champions as the coach of Grand Rapids West Catholic. He led the program to three straight titles from 2013 to 2015. Overall, he has more than 150 coaching wins at the prep level.

He also had a two-year stint with Ferris State University as the assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach.

Now at De La Salle, the goal is to continue building on the groundwork that was laid before him. He wants to compete for state titles year in and year out.

“I feel like this is one of the top programs,” Rohn said. “That’s a credit to the coaches that have been here before me, the administration that’s been here and the alumni. I expect to hold that standard and take it to another level.”

The first-year man hasn’t had quite the year he expected, considering the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the country and put high school football in limbo for several months.

With no scrimmages and limited practices leading up to the season, Rohn admitted it was tough to get his players adjusted to a new scheme and staff.

Rohn doesn’t want to use that as an excuse, however, and his program has had no trouble competing with some of the state’s best, early on.

At press time, the Pilots were 1-1 overall, with a double overtime loss to Birmingham Brother Rice and a win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

“A lot’s happened between March and our first game,” Rohn said. “Those roadblocks are also learning experiences and opportunities to grow, and I think every one of us are growing daily at De La Salle. Not only on the football field, but off the football field.”

De La Salle’s last state title came back in 2018, which was the Pilots’ second consecutive. They didn’t appear in the playoffs last year, due to a self-ban.

Rohn doesn’t see any reason why the Pilots can’t get back to that level of play under his new staff.

“It’s prestigious to win the Catholic League and win those games, and we want to win every football game, but right now, my goal is to get this team — especially this year — ready come week 8, 9, 10 and give us an opportunity to compete at the highest level, and then consistently compete for those state championships,” Rohn said.

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