Former DLS faculty member, Athletic Director, and head football coach Al Baumgart, SJ ‘52, passed away on January 27, 2023. Al had taught social studies at Chippewa Valley High School, and coached there, along with coaching stops at St. Clement and Harper Woods Notre Dame.
“Our teaching and coaching community has not only lost a legendary coach but an even better man,” said Mike Jolly, who worked with Al at Chippewa Valley, and has continued to coach and mentor students at De La Salle.
“Few men have mixed toughness and kindness more graciously than Al Baumgart,” Jolly continued. He and the late Tony DeSantis, DLS ‘60, made a wonderful coaching tandem whose knowledge, discipline, and care greatly benefited the boys in their charge.”
Jolly noted that in recent years Al often visited De La Salle, greeting friends with a big smile, and delivering St. Joe’s alumni raffle tickets to Brother Patrick McNally, SJ ‘55. During Baumgart’s tenure at DLS, he worked with Brother Pat to create the intramural program.
A devout Catholic who lived his faith, Al was a U.S. Army veteran, and was proud of having played in the Blue-Grey game.
He was a graduate of the University of Detroit - and an outstanding center on the Titans’ football team. Al later earned his master’s degree at Saginaw Valley State College.
His 31-year career in high school athletics, coaching football and baseball,
During his career, Al earned a variety of coaching awards, including the 1968 Catholic Coach of the Year and Macomb County Coach of the Year. Twenty of his players are now coaching, and three made it to the National Football League.
Additionally, Al was inducted into the Catholic League Hall of Fame, the Michigan HIgh School Coaches Hall of Fame, and the University of Detroit Sports Hall of Fame.
“He was one of a kind and will be greatly missed,” Jolly said.
Al is survived by his nephews Dave Baumgart ‘76 and Bill Baumgart ‘81.