Birmingham — Dave Sofran, an assistant football coach at Birmingham Brother Rice since 2000 and the top assistant under legendary coach Al Fracassa for the past five seasons, was named the program’s new head coach Friday.
Sofran, 35, graduated from Brother Rice in 1996 and went on to play four years at Northeastern in Boston.
“I’m beyond happy,” Sofran said. “There are no words to express my deep gratitude. I’m overwhelmed.
“I just spoke with Coach (Fracassa) today. Coach has always been a demanding person and he has always told me when you care about a person you can be demanding.”
Thus begins in a new chapter in Brother Rice football. Fracassa began coaching at Brother Rice in 1969, and he guided the program nine state titles, plus a "mythical state championship in 1974.
Sofran played a major role in Brother Rice’s three consecutive state titles (2011-13) as he and Fracassa shared the play-calling during this time.
There will be much pressure on Sofran to succeed, not only in the upcoming season — Brother Rice is expected to be one of the state’s top teams again — but throughout the upcoming seasons.
“The coaching staff that has surrounded the program will alleviate a lot of that pressure,” Softan said. “The chemistry has been good. I’ll be the one who gets the arrows thrown his way, though.
“The system will remain intact. We have our quarterback (Alex Malzone) coming back, and we’ve had a lot of success recently.”
Sofran played receiver, quarterback and defensive back for Brother Rice, and was selected all state his junior and senior seasons.