WARREN, Mich. – Muskegon native Dan Rohn has been pegged to become the 19th head football coach in De La Salle Collegiate history.
Last week, he graciously answered a few questions. Read what he had to say about coming to De La Salle:
What excites you most about coming to De La Salle?
“De La Salle is right up my ally and coaching is what I do. I went to Ferris because I thought I wanted to coach college after achieving a lot of things in high school and it just wasn’t the right fit. I love working with high school kids and developing and communities. There’s just more community around high school football. I took almost three years to find the right place that I thought would be the right fit for me. The minute I walked into De La Salle I got a feeling of a lot of what I’m used to and comfortable with. The more I was over there, and the more people I talked to, it’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted a school and a community and to be around people that are vested and into it for the same reasons. And it’s not all about football, but the ability to use the platform of being the football coach to do a lot of things for a school and community is what I’ve always loved to do."
How important was it for you to return to a Catholic school?
“It was really important. I just love the sense of commitment that the kids and the parents and everybody feels and shares. I’m not saying you don’t get it at a public school in some communities, but it’s just a different feel, a different investment, a different environment in the Catholic and private school settings. I’ve been around enough of them between recruiting and visiting and doing some work with some other schools and programs around the state that I have a different sense of comfortableness. Commitment, dedication and loyalty, the things that you really sense and want as a football coach.”
Why make a move to the east side of the state now?
“It’s a perfect time for me. Everything I’ve done I’ve aligned myself up so that if the right job came up I had the flexibility to move. I’m running my own business now, and it’s up and running now to the point where I can hand if off and have somebody run. I don’t have to be there. My boys are going into their third and fourth year of college. And I feel that I’ve line everything up so I have that flexibility. It all just worked out, I mean, I can move at the drop of a hat if I need, and I’m going to be over there. I'll be working over there with the kids and getting to know the community, and getting to know the parents and the stakeholders as soon as possible. I’ll open up my door and meet as many people as possible and start building some of those relationships and hit the ground running.”
“My boys know this is important to me and this is my passion and what I love. I’ve been able to do a lot of things in my lifetime and be successful, but I’m a football coach. Football has fueled me from high school through college and through my career. It’s given me a lot of opportunities.”
Can you speak to the importance of working with successful coaches?
“I think it’s important who you surround yourself with. If anybody asks me what the most important thing is for an assistant coach, it’s loyalty. If you have a young man or somebody who is loyal you can teach them. I love coaching coaches and I think that’s one of the biggest things for football. People have to understand that you need to coach coaches and teach them to do things a certain way, and as do that your program will evolve into one of the best. I’ve coached with some great guy. Jack Schugars, Tony Annese, and I’ve coached against some hall of famers as well. I’ve had some hall of fame people on my staff with Dave Woodcock, and then Dave Check, who I brought in for his first coaching job at West Catholic, and now the young man has coached in eight state championships, all as a defensive coordinator, but I think it’s important for you to be able to do that with coaches. The most important thing for me is loyalty to the school, commitment to the program and our mission, and if I can surround myself with people like that we will be successful.”
How will you go about building a coaching staff?
“The number one thing is meeting with everybody that has been associated with the program and getting a feel for their fit and what their role could be. And I’ve got some people who have already reached out to me that heard there’s a possibility and are excited. But I’ve got to make sure they’re a right fit for us and for the school and for the kids.”
Offseason conditioning is underway, how anxious are you to meet the players and get started?
“I want to get there right away. I want to get into the weight room with the kids. I want to get into the gym. I want to get into the hallways. I want to get comfortable. I want them to be comfortable with me. I want them to get to know me. It’s funny, we talk about love and culture a lot because we’re constantly going to be coaching attitude, effort, and culture. If we can get those things going in the program and get everybody bought in and to continue to build on the tradition that has been part of De La Salle I think we’ll be able to keep going.
“I’m on the edge of my seat just ready to go.”