Tom Graesser arrived at Cranbrook in 1981, immediately established Cranbrook as a competitve team and as a by-product raised the level of lacrosse in the entire state of Michigan. Coaching in Michigan from 1981 through 1989, Tom won three state championships, graduated numerous High-School All Americans and placed many players on varsity college teams. He was one of the coaches of the North South High School All Star game held at Johns Hopkins in 1984.
Tom continues to coach to this day at Kent Denver School in Colorado. His career achievements include sixteen state championships, and nine coach of the year honors. As a head coach his record is 360-123.
Before coming to Cranbrook, Tom played attack and midfi eld at Hobart College.
Selected by the Colorado High School Lacrosse Coaches Association and US Lacrosse, he coached the West - All Star team to a second place finish in the US Lacrosse Senior Showcase in 2005. The Senior Showcase is an annual tournament format featuring four regional All-Star teams made up of the nation’s top senior lacrosse players.
Coach Graesser also served four seasons as an assistant coach for the Denver Outlaws Major League Lacrosse Team.
We honor Tom Graesser for his body of work as a player and coach in Michigan, for his efforts to grow and improve the game, and for the honor he brings to our State with his efforts before and after his time at Cranbrook.
Mike Jolly began his lacrosse career in 1963 on the very first Michigan State (Club) lacrosse team. Recruited from the MSU Varsity Track team, he was MSU’s fi rst “honored” defenseman earning All Midwest honors in 1966. Mike started every game except one from 1963 through 1969. With the 1970 season, MSU Lacrosse became a varsity sport, a transition in which Mike was instrumental, and a transition which ended his lacrosse eligibility at State. Mike was selected to MSU’s “All-Time” team, an honor that he shares with his son Douglas, the only “father-son” duo so honored.
After leaving MSU Mike became a U.S. Army Officer, serving his country in Korea.
Mike founded the lacrosse program at Warren De La Salle in 1984, where he still coaches today. Mike has amassed 341 wins, a state championship and a 69% win percentage. While coaching at De La Salle, Mike co-founded the Catholic High School Lacrosse League and was a founding member of the Positive Coaching Alliance. He also served as the President of both the Michigan High School Lacrosse Coaches Association and the Michigan High School Coaches Association. No one can question Mike’s sportsmanship and courteous manner, whether under pressure or not.
Mike was the US Lacrosse National Man of the Year in 2000, the US Lacrosse Michigan Man of the Year twice, the US Lacrosse Michigan Coach of the Year twice, the NHSACA Regional Coach of the Year twice, and a National Finalist both years. He received the MHSCA “Distinguished Service Award” in 2010 for his lifetime of service as a coach. Mike has been inducted into numerous Hall of Fames including the Michigan High School Coaches Association, the inaugural class of the Michigan High School Lacrosse Coaches Association, the Catholic Coaches Hall of Fame and the Macomb County Coaches Hall of Fame.
While Mike has many impressive achievements on the field, some of his greatest achievements are off the field. Mike has been a mentor for countless young men, is a dedicated family man married to Mary Gay Jolly with whom he has seven sons.
Vicki Oakley was the girls’ varsity lacrosse coach at Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart from 1996-2009. Vicki coached her team to numerous championships including the 1996, 1999 and 2002 Midwest Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association (MSLA) Championship and the 2005, 2006 and 2007 MHSAA Girls Lacrosse Division 2 State Championships.
Vicki was also recognized as the 2006 Catholic High School League (CHSL) Coach of the Year and the 2006 and 2009 Midwest Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year. Vicki served as the 2004 MSLA President and was inducted into the 2010 CHSL Hall of Fame.
A graduate of London’s St. Mary’s College, she earned her degree in physical education and biology. Vicki was a natural athlete who grew up playing many different sports, but lacrosse was her passion. She played for the Welsh National Lacrosse Squad and the South of England Lacrosse Squad from 1991 – 1995.
Vicki was a physical education teacher and chair of the physical education department at Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart. She also coached the Sacred Heart varsity field hockey team for 5 years and won the 2005 Catholic League Field Hockey Championship. Vicki organized the 2008, 2009 and 2010 SOBeFit campaigns designed to motivate the ASH faculty to take 10,000 steps each day. She
taught many Sacred Heart youth summer camps and enrichment courses and also taught lacrosse clinics at All American Lacrosse from 2006-2009.
Vicki fostered an environment that promoted sportsmanship and teamwork. She taught her players to
never give up and to always play ‘with heart.’
Vicki passed away on February 13, 2009 after an 18 month battle with ovarian cancer. We celebrate her accomplishments and her gifts to the game of lacrosse. Vicki will truly be missed but her smile and her spirit will live on in all those she touched.
Debbe Pavle has contributed greatly to the growth of girls’ lacrosse in the state of Michigan: successful
coach, enabling athletic director, developer of youth, and promoter of positive lacrosse attitudes.
Pavle, a resident of Grosse Pointe and current Athletic Director of Academy of the Sacred Heart,attended high school in Philadelphia, where she picked up the game of lacrosse. Pavle graduated from the University of Michigan in 1981 where she earned a BA in Psychology and played two years of Varsity field hockey.
Her coaching career began as Grosse Pointe South’s Assistant Girls’ Lacrosse Coach in 1997. Under Pavle, South won four consecutive state championships titles and one runner-up spot; two Michigan Class A State Titles (2003, 2004, runners-up 2002) and two MHSAA Division One State Titles (2005, 2006). The 2004 team was runner-up at the Midwest Schoolgirls Lacrosse Tournament, where Pavle was named MSLA Coach of the Year.
In addition to helping her own players further their lacrosse skills, Pavle opened up the lacrosse world for players throughout Michigan. In 2003, she and fellow coach Jen Dunbar co-founded a travel team, the Detroit Lacrosse Club, which broadened lacrosse horizons for countless high school girls statewide. Pavle was responsible for bringing the US Lacrosse National Clinic to Michigan in 2002 and 2003 as coordinator of the clinic.
Deb also addressed youth lacrosse. In 1998, she co-founded the Grosse Pointe Girls’ Lacrosse Camp, which she directed and coached until 2006. She also founded and directed the Neighborhood Youth Club Lacrosse League of Grosse Pointe from 1999-2006.
One of Pavle’s most important contributions to Michigan lacrosse culture involves her dedication to the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). She introduced PCA clinics to Michigan in 2003, 2004 and 2010. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Positive Coaching Alliance “Double Goal Coach” national award. Only 20 coaches nationwide receive this annual award. Deb also served as Vice President of the Michigan Women’s Lacrosse Association in 2003 and 2004.
Eugene “Gene” Reilly was one of the fi rst Michigan high school lacrosse coaches. He initiated lacrosse at Detroit Country Day School in 1971, and continued as DCDS head coach through 1982. While there, he was co-founder of the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Association which served as the governing body for boys’ high school lacrosse in Michigan until 2005. He was also a co-founder of the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association which remains the premier league of the best teams in Ohio, Michigan and Western Pennsylvania.
During Gene’s tenure, Detroit Country Day School won 6 State Championships and 2 Midwest Championships. He was honored twice as Coach of the Year. He produced 6 High School All-Americans at DCDS and sent numerous players on to compete at the collegiate level. Many of Gene’s former players have become outstanding lacrosse coaches in their own right. Gene says: “During my coaching career, I was very fortunate to be blessed with an outstanding group of young men and great assistant coaches.” DCDS created “The Unsung Hero Award” in Gene’s name. Now all the schools in Michigan have the “Gene Reilly Unsung Hero Award.”
Gene started his Lacrosse coaching career at Cheshire Academy in 1962 under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Stuart Lindsay. He continued his coaching career at Poly Prep, NY then moved on to Garden City HS, NY. Immediately before joining DCDS, Gene was Head Lacrosse coach at Wesleyan University, CT, from 1968 to 1970. During his tenure at Wesleyan, Gene produced two All-Americans.
After his time at DCDS, Gene moved to Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, NC, where he founded the lacrosse program in 1988. A “Coach’s
Player of the Year Award” is named after him there. Gene completed his career as Headmaster at St. Andrew’s School, GA, where he established the St. Andrew’s Lacrosse Club.
Gene’s two sons, Michael and Timothy were DCDS graduates and went on to play collegiate lacrosse, Michael at the United States Naval Academy and Timothy at the University of Michigan. Coach Reilly (now retired), lives in Port Charlotte, Florida, with his wife, Nancy.