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Detroit Catholic Central names Dan Anderson as new head football coach

  • Longtime Detroit Catholic Central assistant coach Dan Anderson was named head coach of the Shamrocks on Thursday morning. (Photo contributed)
  • Dan Anderson had been the defensive coordinator of the Shamrocks since 2007. He will now take over for Tom Mach, who led the Shamrocks the past 41 years. (Photo contributed)
  • Former Catholic Central head coach Tom Mach announced his retirement in early February after winning 370 football games with the Shamrocks. (MIPrepZone file photo)
  • Dan Anderson had been the defensive coordinator of the Shamrocks since 2007. He will now take over for Tom Mach, who led the Shamrocks the past 41 years. (Photo contributed)
  • New Detroit Catholic Central head football coach Dan Anderson helped lead the Shamrocks to a state championship (2009) and four other championship game appearances since taking over as defensive coordinator in 2007. (MIPrepZone file photo)

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For the first time in more than 40 years, there will be someone new leading the Novi Detroit Catholic Central football program.

But by no means is it someone new to the Shamrock family.

Longtime assistant coach Dan Anderson was named new head football coach at the school, replacing the legendary Tom Mach, who had served in the position for the past 41 seasons. Anderson has been the team's defensive coordinator since 2007 and has been a teacher and Dean of Students at the school as far back as 1999.

"I couldn't be more excited," Catholic Central athletic director Aaron Babicz said. "It's nice because we preach loyalty here, we reward loyalty here at Catholic Central, so to to be able to promote one of our own, I think just says a lot about our mission, what we preach to the young men here.


"We couldn't be more excited for Dan. He's a great man, a great mentor and a great coach, and that's what we needed."

Babicz was quick to point out, however, that the decision to promote from within wasn't planned. More than 25 coaches applied for the position. That number was narrowed down to nine, with five potential candidates receiving interviews. Anderson was the lone internal candidate to apply for the position.

"I always felt like we didn't need to reinvent the wheel. There are obviously some things that we're going to change and just build upon the tradition that coach Mach left behind, that we've been building since 1928," Babicz said. "To be able to bring someone in that knows who we are, that knows what we preach, who doesn't only talk about it but shows it in his actions, that's what we needed."

Anderson was recognized as the Michigan High School Football Coaches' Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008. He was the head coach at Archbishop Alter High School (OH) for three seasons before coming to Catholic Central. He was named Greater Catholic League Head Coach of the Year in 1996.

He replaces Mach, who retired as the third winningest coach in Michigan high school history (370 victories). Mach led the program to 10 state championships and 17 state finals appearances.

"We had some great candidates, some great men come in here," Babicz said. "We could have hired any one of them, but it came down to remembering who we are and that we're a family."

Anderson had his first chance to address that family - the players - as he was introduced as head coach early Thursday morning.

"Coach Mach's last speech as our head coach was to our team," Babicz said. "And Dan Anderson's first speech as head coach was to our team. That's the way it should be."

Last Updated: 3/16/2017 8:33:46 AM EST

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