Tyrice Grice assumes role as West Bloomfield High football coach

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 19, 2021

 Tyrice Grice has been selected as West Bloomfield High School’s new head football coach. Grice was part of West Bloomfield’s staff when the Lakers won a Division 1 state championship this past season.

Tyrice Grice has been selected as West Bloomfield High School’s new head football coach. Grice was part of West Bloomfield’s staff when the Lakers won a Division 1 state championship this past season.

Photo provided by Tyrice Grice

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Following a “comprehensive and rigorous search process” for a new coach, West Bloomfield High decided on a familiar face to lead its football program.

Tyrice Grice, who has been on West Bloomfield’s staff the last eight years as an assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, was appointed to the position of head coach.

After helping to lead the Lakers to the program’s first-ever Division 1 state championship this past season, previous coach Ron Bellamy left to pursue a coaching opportunity on Jim Harbaugh’s staff at the University of Michigan.

Bellamy formerly played for the Wolverines as a wide receiver before going on to the NFL.

His first season as head coach at West Bloomfield was in 2010.

Grice met with West Bloomfield Athletic Director Eric Pierce and West Bloomfield School District Superintendent Gerald Hill prior to earning his promotion.

“The athletic director, superintendent, they gave me a vote of confidence and gave me a lot of praise (for) what we achieved, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and things we’ve done in the past,” Grice said. “I think that had a lot to do with their confidence in me and our program (to) continue that.”

Pierce shared thoughts about Grice in a press release.

“Throughout the interview process, coach Grice consistently demonstrated the leadership and interpersonal skills that are required to successfully run a high-profile athletic program in the school district,” Pierce stated. “As an assistant coach and defensive coordinator in our program for the last eight years, coach Grice has been an integral part of the rise in success of our program and the creation of the familial culture that members of the team share. He has assisted in providing our student-athletes with opportunities to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level and brings a wealth of knowledge to the position.”

Gaining the support of players can be a big part of a coach’s success or lack thereof, and given his history with the program, that may be a big plus Grice already brings to the job.

“It’s a smooth transition,” Grice said. “The players welcomed me with open arms. … They’d rather have someone on our staff than someone from outside, so that’s a good thing.”

Grice, who owns an independent insurance agency and has two children, one who is a student at Michigan and another who is a senior at West Bloomfield High School, elaborated on the benefits of someone already familiar with the program taking the reins.

“It won’t be too much of a huge transition, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” he said. “I think the biggest transition is me adapting to what we do offensively. … Should be no problem. I think the guys we have in place are excellent coaches.”

The Lakers have lost some players from a “senior-dominated” team last season, including Donovan Edwards, who — as one of the top running backs in the state — earned a spot on Michigan’s roster.

Despite the losses of some players from last season’s team, particularly on defense, Grice expects some talented players from the lower tiers of the program to “step up their game” at the varsity level.

On the offensive side of the ball, six or seven starters from last season’s team are expected to return.

Given what has already been accomplished with the program, Grice said he understands the challenge before him: “the expectation of winning a state championship and coming behind Ron Bellamy, who did a great job in leading us,” he said. “Now it’s my turn leading guys. … I think the biggest challenge is, match coach Bell, but do it my way and do it the way I know how to do it.”

Getting to a state championship level is something most programs aren’t familiar with, but as for West Bloomfield, Grice said, “We know what it takes to get there.”

“Our attitude right now’s all about repeating,” Grice said. “Hopefully, we can get back to the state championship to repeat. That’s our ultimate goal.”

Grice attended and played football at Detroit Pershing High School before going on to do the same at Western Michigan University.

He was a former head coach for Detroit Renaissance High School (2010-2011) and a defensive coordinator for Southfield Lathrup High School (2008-2009).

Grice has spent a lot of time around the game of football, and the role coaches can play in players’ lives is not lost on him.

“We have the kids more than (they’re) around their parents at certain periods of time throughout the year,” he said. “They confide to us what’s going on in their personal life. We got (to) play a big, important role for these players, and players look for that. It’s all about building relationships with players.”

As for building those relationships, Grice said Bellamy did a “great job” with that.

“We’ll continue that,” he said. “My style’s a little bit different. … I’m more of a disciplinarian. At the same time, my players respect me.”

When asked about the best thing West Bloomfield’s program has going for it, Grice’s attention turned to the support it has received.

“I think community support, parent support,” he said. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing we have going right now, is the support of administration and parents. That’s a plus.”

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