In mid-September, Brother Rice High School inducted three individuals and two teams into the 2017 Brother Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. First instituted in 2008, the tenth class of hall of famers features Dr. Brian Hainline ’74, the 1977 State Championship Football Team, David Morrow ’89, T.J. Lang ’05, and the 2008 National and State Championship Lacrosse Team.
Brian Hainline, M.D. ’74 played four years on the varsity tennis team in the #1 singles spot, a feat unmatched at that time. In his senior year, he led the Warriors to their first regional championship and the school’s first singles championship with remarkable precision from the first match to the last. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Notre Dame where he continued to excel at the collegiate level playing the number one spot in both singles and doubles. Today, Hainline might be the most influential person in regards to changing the culture of sport for student-athletes.
Hainline is Chief Medical Officer of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). As the NCAA’s first Chief Medical Officer, Brian oversees the NCAA Sport Science Institute, a national center of excellence whose mission is to promote and develop safety, excellence, and wellness in college student-athletes, and to foster life-long physical and mental development. The NCAA Sport Science Institute works collaboratively with member institutions and Centers of Excellence across the United States. For over 25 years, Brian has been actively involved in sports medicine.
He co-authored Drugs and the Athlete, and played a pivotal role the development of drug testing and education protocols worldwide. He has served on the New York State Medical Advisory Board, the USOC Sports Medicine Committee, and was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Neurology Sports Neurology Section, where he serves as vice-chair. Brian has played a pivotal role in the development of health and safety standards in tennis, both nationally and internationally.
He was Chief Medical Officer of the US Open Tennis Championships for 16 years, and then served as Chief Medical Officer of the United States Tennis Association before moving to the NCAA. He is Chair of the International Tennis Federation Sport Science & Medicine Commission, and oversaw the rollout of International Wheelchair Tennis Competition, a sport for which he wrote the rules of eligibility for both para- and quad-tennis. Brian is Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York University Langone School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine.
In 1977, the Michigan High School Athletic Association expanded the high school playoff system to a three-week format, involving the top two teams in each region with 32 teams participating. The result: Brother Rice went 12-0 in the top division, Class A, and defeated Portage Central 17-7 in the state championship game. Coach Al Fracassa adequately nicknamed his defense that year, the “Termite Defense,” because they averaged only 163 lbs per player, and that included the defensive line.
The Warriors finished the season number one in the state and ranked seventh in the nation. After that magical season, Brother Rice began playing out of state opponents like Barberton Ohio and Cincinnati Moeller. The team featured junior hall of fame quarterback Jon English ‘79, wide receiver Marty Martinez ’79 and sophomore hall of fame receiver, Brian Brennan ‘80.
The state championship game was played in the Pontiac Silverdome that year with an announced attendance of just over 25,000 fans. They were a team of overachievers with heart power as epitomized by 150 lb. linebacker, Tony Asher ’78, who is currently one of the nation’s top neurosurgeons. In that era, there were only four division classes and Brother Rice dominated the top class in undefeated fashion.
It could be argued that the game of lacrosse is indebted forever to Brother Rice alumnus, Dave Morrow ’89. The speedy high school All-American captain helped the Warriors capture a state championship in 1988 followed by a state and mid-west championship in 1989. A natural born leader, Morrow also served as captain of the hockey team and class president of the 1989 graduating class, while also serving as a committed National Honor Society member.
Back in the 1980’s and 90’s, the best lacrosse players in the nation came out of the east coast. After graduation from high school, Morrow became the first Michigan player recruited to play lacrosse at Princeton University. He would play in all 16 games his freshman year, as Princeton reached the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. He became a first-team All-Ivy and third-team All-American selection his sophomore year.
His junior year, in 1992, was a huge one by every possible definition. Morrow became a first-team All-American defenseman and the Division I defenseman of the year, and Princeton won the first of its six current NCAA championships.
As a senior, Morrow was again first-team All-American and defenseman of the year as Princeton reached the Final Four, and he was honored as the Division I Player of the Year. Adding to his long list of accomplishments, he was named to the 1995 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Silver Anniversary Team which lists him as one of the top 100 players of all time and was a member of the Gold Medal winning USA Lacrosse teams in 1994 and 1998 before retiring from competitive lacrosse.
In 1992, Morrow founded “Warrior Sports.” The company name is derived from Morrow’s roots as a student-athlete in high school. Warrior started out as the first manufacturer of titanium lacrosse shafts, which revolutionized the game due to the stick’s weight and durability. Dave went on to highlight the breakthrough shaft while playing in college. In 2004, Warrior was sold to New Balance and Morrow took over the position of President and CEO of their Warrior Division.
In high school, T.J. Lang ’05 started on both the offensive and defensive lines. During his senior year, he accumulated 59 tackles, 8.5 sacks and one fumble recovery on the defensive side of the ball. Later that year, Lang accepted a scholarship to attend Eastern Michigan University where he made an immediate impact.
As a freshman in 2005, Lang played in all 11 games as a defensive lineman, recording 11 tackles. In 2006, as a sophomore, the coaching staff moved him to offensive tackle where he started all 36 games over the next three years.
In 2009, Lang was selected in the fourth round (109th overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Draft and on July 7, 2009, he signed a contract with the Packers. Lang started his first game at left tackle against the Cleveland Browns due to an injury to Chad Clifton on October 23, 2009. In the next season, the Packers played in Super Bowl XLV where they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.
On August 14, 2012, Lang signed a four-year contract extension with the Packers which included a signing bonus through 2016. Last year, T.J. was named to the NFL Pro Bowl for the first time in his productive professional playing career. On March 12, 2017, Lang signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Lions.
The Brother Rice Warrior Lacrosse Program has been the State of Michigan’s best since its inception back in 1983. The history of championship excellence includes three state championships in the 80’s, four in the 90’s, two more state titles in 2000 and 2001 followed by 15 straight state championships since 2003. The program dominance also includes 10-plus mid-west championships and a national championship in the 2008 season.
The 2008 Brother Rice Lacrosse Team became the first ever mid-west team to capture high school lacrosse’s National Championship when they were crowned with that honor nine years ago. The 2008 team was the only team that year in the STX/Inside Lacrosse Preseason Top 25 that went through their entire season without a loss and were rightfully crowned the 2008 STX/Inside Lacrosse National Champions.
The team was led by All Americans Graham Adams ‘08 (attack), Nick Dolik ‘09 (Attack), Joe Fontanessi ’08 (midfield), Mike Hamilton ‘08 (midfield), Danny Henneghan ‘09 (midfield) and T.J. Yost ‘09 (goalie). Mike Hamilton also added State Player of the Year and Midwest Player of the Year honors to the team’s historic season. Their roster turned out 11 Division I commitments from the team’s senior and junior classes, and their average margin of victory exceeded 11 goals per game. To put this more clearly, the Warriors outscored their opponents 105-18 in the state playoffs that year leaving no doubt they were one of the best teams this program has ever seen.