Orchard Lake – George Porritt is preparing his Orchard Lake St. Mary's football team for its season opener in a battle of Catholic League state championship teams when the Eaglets face Detroit Loyola Saturday morning at Wayne State University.
While Porritt is busy at work with the football team, he announced his retirement as the boys basketball coach Monday. He will remain the school's athletic director.
Porritt guided OLSM's basketball team to a 336-180 record in his 22 years as head coach, including six Catholic League championships and a state title in 2000.
"It has been a tremendous honor to serve in this capacity and I hope I was a great role model," said Porritt. "I believe I always tried to see things before they happened, challenge young men and guide them to act with integrity.
"My journey has been possible because of all those who've helped along the way, and I'm proud of the countless Eaglets who stepped on the court."
One of those players was Kalin Lucas, who went on to earn Big Ten MVP honors his sophomore year at Michigan State while leading Spartans to the 2009 national championship game at Ford Field.
Porritt plans to spend more time with his family, including his wife Terry, his children Kenny, Marilynn and Mason, and grandchildren.
Porritt has guided the Eaglets to five state championships since 1994 in football, including a 7-0 victory over Muskegon in last year's Division 3 state title game at Ford Field.
OLSM is ranked No. 3 in The Detroit News' preseason rankings and has a large, talented junior class, led by linebackers Josh Ross and Dwayne Chapman, and receiver Kahlee Hamler.
The Eaglets showed their outstanding defense during last year's state title run, limiting their five playoff opponents to a total of 28 points. It was the first time Muskegon was blanked in 200 games, since Sept. 26, 1997.
While coaching the football team, Porritt will also be looking for a new basketball coach.
"I'll be nearby to advise the new coach because St. Mary's basketball will always have a special place in my heart," Porritt said. "The new head coach must demonstrate consistency, integrity and discipline. He should always be early and late, the first one there and the last to leave. And, he must be all about St. Mary's."