Esler's headed to local HOF

WARREN, Mich. - Longtime basketball coach Greg Esler will be enshrined into the Saint Clair Shores Athletic Hall of Fame at Blossom Heath Inn on March 8. 

Esler will be inducted alongside his longtime assistant Dave Grauzer. The pair have coached together at Saint Clair Shores Lake Shore and De La Salle Collegiate.

Esler and Grauzer will be joined by fellow inductees former Eastern Michigan University baseball star Donald Frederick, former Detroit News hockey writer Cynthia Lambert, and the St. Clair Shores 1980 Pony All-Star baseball team.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2016 by Saint Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby, along with the city’s parks and recreation commission. Walby graduated from De La Salle in 1982. 

Esler served Saint Clair Shores for more than 20 years as the city’s parks and recreation director. He supervised the community’s golf course, ice arena and senior center, and two harbors, along with numerous parks throughout the community - noted for its outstanding recreational facilities. 

Esler is proud of the special-needs playground program, which he initiated, as well as improvements to the senior center at the city’s Civic Arena complex. He also secured the biggest donation in the city’s history, from the Maloof family, to create improvements at the Veterans’ Memorial Park, and secured a grant and donations for the skate park at Kyte-Monroe Park. 

Esler coached Lake Shore High School to a 28-0 record and the 1994 Class B state championship with a 38-37 win over East Grand Rapids. 

Esler has served as the head coach of the Pilots’ varsity basketball team since 1994. Prior to Esler’s 26 seasons, the longest-serving coach was Tom Bonino, who led the program from 1947-63. 

In 26 seasons, Esler has guided the Pilots to numerous district and regional titles and reached the state’s Final Four four times During his coaching tenure, De La Salle has compiled a 422-198 record. In 33 seasons, Esler has a 555-234 record, which is tied for 16th all-time in Michigan boys’ basketball history.

Esler joined the De La Salle Advancement staff in 2018 as the full-time as Major Gifts Officer. 

Tickets cost $35 and include dinner, beer, and wine. Tickets are available at the Saint Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Department, 20000 Stephens Road.

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