Warren, Mich. -- De La Salle Collegiate continues to shape its football coaching staff into the best high school staff in the state of Michigan.
Its latest addition: Former Detroit Cass Tech assistant coach Gary Abernathy, who will serve as the Pilots’ running backs coach in 2022.
Abernathy served as an assistant wide receivers coach and then as the Technicians’ running backs coach in his two years at Cass Tech. During those two seasons, the Technicians compiled a 15-5 record, including an MHSAA district championship in 2020.
Abernathy also currently serves as the vice president of the Eastern Suburban Football League (ESFL), one of the oldest youth football leagues in Michigan.
He couldn’t be happier to become a part of the De La Salle family.
“I’m ecstatic. I’ve gotten to know the De La Salle program over the last decade through coaching youth football (for the Eastside Eagles), and I know it has a great, great reputation for developing kids. So, I’m just really excited to be joining Coach (Dan) Rohn’s staff,” Abernathy said.
Prior to joining Cass Tech, Abernathy served on the staff of the Eastside Eagles youth football team for nine years. He possessed a variety of roles during his tenure with the Eagles, ranging from offensive coordinator and head coach to director of football operations and treasurer.
Pilots head football coach Dan Rohn is excited to have Abernathy joining the program.
“The No. 1 goal for me is to continue to move the program forward and to surround myself with good coaches and good men who know the community, and I believe Gary Abernathy checks off all of those boxes,” Rohn said. “When you bring his name up in the community and in the city of Detroit, a ton of people know him and a ton of people respect him. I know he’s going to be a great addition to our football staff.”
Along with coaching the running backs at De La Salle, Abernathy is expected to aid the football program in enhancing its level of diversity and inclusiveness.
It’s something that is near and dear to Abernathy’s heart, as he is a member of the National Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team at Marsh & McLennan Agency. In the role at the nationally-renowned insurance agency, he is tasked with establishing the direction of the diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives, including talent recruitment, awareness and training.
Additionally, he helps organizations design and executes their DE&I strategies, regardless of what stage of the journey they are in.
Rohn believes that Abernathy will have a significant impact on the quality of diversity and inclusion at De La Salle.
“I think the diversity and inclusion component is an important element of what Gary will bring to the table for our student-athletes at De La Salle,” Rohn said. “As we continue to grow as a school and a community, surrounding ourselves with people who are strong in several aspects of both the game of football and life is ultra important. So, I believe that what Gary will bring to us from a diversity and inclusion standpoint will be extremely important to us as a football program and a community.”
Abernathy is committed to helping the school along its journey to becoming more inclusive and equitable.
“I think it’s powerful to have this kind of role at a school like De La Salle,” Abernathy said. “De La Salle has the utmost respect from individuals in the community, and I know that being an alumnus of the school carries so much value. I think hiring me is a bold move for De La Salle in its attempt to try to break down barriers that may have dogged the school in the past.”
Abernathy is a graduate of Northwood University, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Also, he holds an MBA from the Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration.
Abernathy also holds a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) certificate from the National Diversity Council and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate from the University of South Florida.
Additionally, in 2021, he was recognized as a Notable Executive in DE&I by Crain’s
Detroit Business, and in 2019, he was named Corp Magazine’s Diversity Business Leader of the Year.
For any questions, please contact DLS Athletic Director Dan Rohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.