Spotlight Podcast: Tony Versaci

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WARREN, Mich. (May 13, 2019) –

For nearly 60 years, De La Salle Collegiate alumnus Tony Versaci has been involved with football in some way, from high school to college to the pros.

The son of De La Salle alumnus Samuel Versaci, who graduated in the first class of 1929, Versaci is proud of his Pilots affiliation.

In early May, Versaci visited De La Salle and spoke with a group of student athletes about his coaching and professional life. His post-coaching career includes active involvement with the Michigan chapter of the National Football Foundation, which honors high school and college seniors, as well as the Michigan All-State Dream Team.

Versaci played football at the University of Detroit as a walk-on, and then spent 11 years at Dearborn Divine Child High School. There, his Falcons won 84 percent of their games, which included three undefeated seasons. Among his players was Gary Danielson, who went on to star as the quarterback at Purdue, and then spent 12 years in the NFL. Danielson is now a college football analyst and color announcer for CBS Sports.

Versaci also mentored Bill McCartney, who went on to coach at the University of Colorado.  

Named Michigan High School Coach of the Year in 1966, allowing him to visit any university in the country, Versaci chose the University of Alabama, and ended up being mentored by the legendary coach Bear Bryant.

Versaci also spent a season at Michigan State University as an assistant coach, before spending two years as a special teams coach with the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals.

He currently partners with Detroit Lions’ great Mike Lucci, and owns several Burger King franchises. Versaci and his wife Sally live in Bingham Farms, Mich., and have three children and five grandchildren.

On this episode of the De La Salle Spotlight Podcast, Chirco, a 2011 De La Salle graduate, talks with Versaci about his coaching time at the high school, college and NFL levels. He discusses his Dearborn Divine Child teams, which included current CBS College Football analyst Gary Danielson. Versaci also talks about his season as an assistant coach with Michigan State, his relationship with former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney, and much more.

 

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