TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/19/13
From Press Release
In 1983, the late Brother Rice Athletic Director, Mike Popson, was looking to add a lacrosse program. A young Rob Ambrose applied for the job and started what would go on to be one of the most successful programs in all of Michigan high school sports history.
In just his second year at the helm, the Warriors shocked the lacrosse community by winning the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association’s title over the more established programs. It was the first of many titles that Ambrose would guide the Warriors to.
Ambrose stepped down in 1985 to focus on his paper company, Ambrose International, but did return in 1995 to try to revive a once proud program. In 1994, the team struggled to an 8-11 record and last place finish in the Catholic League.
That first year back, he turned the program around and led the team to a 17-3 record, a Midwest Championship and an appearance in the State Final. From that day forward, Rob and the Warriors would dominate lacrosse in Michigan, winning 16 of the next 18 state titles including the last 11 straight.
Coach Ambrose will be stepping down to focus on his business. His paper company will be expanding and opening an additional office in New York and he’ll be taking his family East to manage the business.
“I’m really going to miss the players and the parents that supported us, but as the business grows, I have to make it my family’s top priority,” he said. “The players kept setting the bar higher and higher and I was lucky to work with them all these years and watch them achieve their goals and dreams.
“The names would change every few years, but the commitment of the players and their families never changed. It’s how they have done things around here and I’m very happy that I was able to work with the boys. I’m going to miss them, but the tradition of excellence is part of the culture here and our Alumni will step up and lead the team for years to come. “
In the 21 years that Ambrose has coached Brother Rice, he has had 57 players named All-American, won 16 Catholic titles, 16 State MHSAA/MSLA titles, eight MSCLA Midwest titles and the 2008 Inside Lacrosse National Championship.
More importantly, Ambrose’s lacrosse teams excelled off the field and in the class room. In the four years that the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association has given out Academic All-State awards, every one of his teams has been recognized for their work in the classroom.
The 2013 state champion team was the only Regional Champion in any division to also be named to an Academic All-State team. The 2012 state champions were one of only two teams named Academic All-State 1st team, the 2011 state champions were also 2nd Team Academic- All State and in 2010 state champions were also recognized as honorable mention Academic All-State.
Brother Rice Principal, Brother Michael Segvich, CFC said, “We were very blessed to have a coach that made sure his players were more than just winners on the field. He made sure they were leaders in the community and demanded academic excellence from them as well.
“You can see that in the fact that his players went on to be student athletes at great colleges and leaders in their communities and the business world. His entire staff was made up of Alumni that wanted to come back and pay it forward to the next generation of students.”
Over 40 of Ambrose’s players have gone on to play Division I NCAA lacrosse and study at great universities including: Penn, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Colgate, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Detroit, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, Villanova and Syracuse.
Also retiring is Assistant Lacrosse Coach, Chris Feldman ’95. Feldman has been a part of the Rice program for 12 years and was Ambrose’s assistant since 1997.
A graduate of Brother Rice and Michigan State University, Feldman was the captain of Rob’s Midwest Champion team in his 1995 return to coaching. An integral part of the program’s leadership and success, he was recognized for his efforts and presented with the US Lacrosse Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2013.
Feldman and his wife Maureen are parents to two year old twins and he is stepping down to spend more time with his family.
“We’ve had great players and families come through the program that I’ll miss, but I was proud to be a link in the chain,” he said. “Coach Ambrose has been a great mentor and friend, a true leader and visionary for our program and for lacrosse. I’m going to miss coaching with him and I’m going to miss the lacrosse community at Rice.”
Athletic Director, Reg Cavender, is currently searching for a new coach and several of the current staff and Alumni that coach in the lacrosse community are being interviewed. He hopes to name a successor in the next few weeks.
“We are not in a hurry because we want to be sure we make the right decision,” Cavender said. “Replacing coaches like Ambrose and Feldman won’t be easy and they will be missed.
“He’s been good for the sport of lacrosse and great for the young men of Brother Rice. We wish him the best in his future and thank him for his years of service.”
Brother Rice Championships:
CHSL – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
State – 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Midwest – 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010
National – 2008