(WXYZ) - Brother Rice has tabbed its next head football coach.
Dave Sofran will take over the job Al Fracassa kept for over four decades. Throughout his career, Fracassa became the winningest football coach in Michigan high school history and won 10 state titles.
"Truly, I'm humbled to continue the tradition of Brother Rice football," Sofran told WXYZ.
The shoes are nearly impossible to fill, and Sofran knows that. Fracassa turned Brother Rice into a football juggernaut over 45 seasons, and retired this season at the age of 81.
"There will never be another Al Fracassa," Sofran said. "But with the support and encouragement of the staff we will have, I feel we will do it together. That's the Brother Rice way. The 'Band of Brothers' is not just a slogan the kids say. It's something for all of us to live by."
Sofran, a 1996 graduate of Brother Rice, played college football at Northeastern University. He returned to Brother Rice as wide receivers and special teams coach in 2000. Sofran was officially named offensive coordinator in 2011.
He has helped lead the Warriors to state titles in 2000, 2005, and the past three seasons.
"You can never replace an Al Fracassa," school president John Birney said.
"He's the winningest coach in the state's history and one of the most important men in our school's heritage. We had to find a guy that was not just going to be about winning. We had to make sure that we found a coach that would insist on turning boys into more complete men."
In Sofran, the school's leadership believes it has found that man. An extensive process following November's state championship led to the hire.
Next season, the Warriors return a strong team, including All State quarterback Alex Malzone. All eyes will be on the team as they play without Fracassa on the sidelines for the first time since 1969.
Sofran and his wife, Heather, have two children. He has worked as the school's Admissions Director since 2000.
Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter at WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli