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Administrators Brian Kelly, Pat Adams apparently dismissed at De La Salle

By: Joe Cochran, July 1, 2016, 1:17 pm

Warren – As State Champs first reported on twitter on Wednesday, Warren De La Salle president John Knight dismissed athletic director Brian Kelly and principal Pat Adams.

Many alumni, parents and students and insiders were stunned by the moves and have shown concern about the future of the school.

Kelly did not return phone messages left by State Champs. A reporter representing State Champs went to the school in attempt to talk to Knight but discovered Knight was unavailable.

When reached, Adams would not officially comment on the situation.

For his part, Knight did send a letter via email to the De La Salle community stating that Kelly and Adams left the school. The contents within the letter did not indicate that either or both were fired.

Kelly had been with De La Salle for over 30 years coaching the baseball team to two state championships. This past season, with Kelly serving as an assistant coach under coach Matt Cook, the Pilots won the school’s third baseball title.

Since becoming athletic director the school won it’s first state football title in 2014.

The basketball, hockey and wrestling programs have also remained competitive.

Pat Adams left Warren Mott, within the Warren Consolidated School system, a decade ago to become an administrator at De La Salle.

Many in the Warren community, and in other parts of Macomb County, not directly associated with De La Salle, were taken aback by the news.

Warren Fitzgerald varsity football coach Gary Skop had high praise for Adams.

"I was around Pat at Warren Mott,” Skop said. "He was a person who had time for everyone. He’s a great man and leader. My father even goes way back with Adams.

“This is sad news and I wish him all the best. He will land on his feet.”

Warren Mott varsity football coach Tom Milanov was stunned by the news.

 "I have the utmost respect for Pat,” Milanov said. "He was AD and then principal at Warren Mott. He’s a good and honest man.”

Eastpointe East Detroit varsity football coach Roland Bell has a vested interest on what takes place within De La Salle. Bell’s son, Zack, pitched for the Pilots two years ago and he was equally as shocked.

"I’ve known Pat Adams a long time and always respected him,” Bell said. "I don’t know what’s going on at the school but I hate to see this happen academics and athletics are solid at La Salle which really makes this even more surprising."

Knight was named school president in February of 2015 and took office on July 1, 2015.

Upon hearing of the news early Wednesday many State Champs sources confirmed that Kelly and Adams were fired.

This in contrast to Knight’s letter stating that Kelly and Adams had left their positions at De La Salle.

The result of interviews to many close to Kelly and Adams indicated that they were dismissed. Many within the school are concerned about their current positions and refused to be quoted or have their names used in this report.

One specifically said Kelly was stunned when he learned of his dismissal.

Knight held a similar position (school president) at St. Ignatius High in San Francisco from 2012-14.

Telephone interviews were held with several people associated with St. Ignatius. They indicated they would like to remain anonymous but said that Knight’s stay was short and that were similar circumstances where several employees were said to have left their positions much like the email written about Kelly and Adams.

St. Ignatius director of communications Paul Totah said that Knight wasn’t a good fit and the school didn’t fit him. When asked to explain, Totah said and "it was like a marriage that didn’t work".   

Prior to taking the position at St. Ignatius, Knight was the president at Canisius High School in Buffalo, N.Y., from 2008-12.

Prior to his work in Buffalo and San Francisco, Knight, 57, spent 15 years at U-D Jesuit High School. Knight has worked in Catholic secondary education for 28 years. 

A De La Salle employee, close to the situation, and who requested anonymity, said they fear this is only the beginning.