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Cass Technical High School

Cass Technical High School, commonly referred to as Cass Tech, is a four-year university preparatory high school in Midtown Detroit, United States.[2][3] The school is named in honor of Lewis Cass, an American military officer and politician who served as governor of the Michigan Territory from 1813 until 1831. The school is a part of Detroit Public Schools.

Cass Tech
Cass Technical High School 2010.jpg
Cass Tech, 2010
Cass Tech is located in Michigan
Cass Tech
Cass Tech
Cass Tech is located in the US
Cass Tech
Cass Tech
2501 Second Avenue


United States
Coordinates42°20′19.815″N 83°3′37.379″W / 42.33883750°N 83.06038306°W / 42.33883750; -83.06038306Coordinates: 42°20′19.815″N 83°3′37.379″W / 42.33883750°N 83.06038306°W / 42.33883750; -83.06038306
TypeExamination School of Choice
School districtDetroit Public Schools
PrincipalLisa Phillips
Number of students2,430
Color(s)          Hunter Green and White
NewspaperCT Visionary

Until 1977, Cass was Detroit's only magnet school and the only non-neighborhood enrollment school in Detroit. Today, Cass is one of few magnet schools in Detroit. Entrance to Cass is based on test scores and middle school grades. Students are required to choose a curriculum path—roughly equivalent to a college "major"—in the ninth grade. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, arts and communication, business management and marketing, engineering and manufacturing, human services, and science and arts.[4]


History and campusEdit


Lewis Cass the High School
(former Cass campus)
Location2421 Second Ave, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Coordinates42°20′15″N 83°3′36″W / 42.33750°N 83.06000°W / 42.33750; -83.06000
ArchitectMalcolmson and Higginbotham, Albert Kahn
DemolishedJuly 2011
MPSPublic Schools of Detroit MPS
NRHP reference #10000644[5]
Added to NRHPMarch 29, 2011

The school was founded on the third floor of the old Cass Union School in 1907. Its historic landmark building on Second Avenue in downtown Detroit was built in 1917.[6] To the south of it an addition designed by Albert Kahn was built in 1985.[citation needed] The new, modern facilities of the school were built in 2004 in an adjacent lot to the north of the original building on Grand River Avenue.

In 2007 there was a large fire in the old structure. Complete demolition of the vacant Cass Tech building began in June 2011 and was finished by November. Pictures of the old historic structures, both from the outside and the abandoned inside floors and classes, can be seen here [1]. In addition, a 3D floor-by-floor interactive map of the old building is available here [2] as well.

Following the fire in the old structure, it was demolished and removed by Homrich Demolition.[7] At time of demolition, the school building was approximately 830,000 square feet (77,000 m2) and weighed more than 100,000 short tons (91,000 t). Over 90% of the material in the building was recycled for other uses or as backfill.

In 2008 some classes that were not very popular with students were removed due to reduction in teacher staffing due to declining enrollment.[8]



Based on current enrollment information, there are approximately 2,468 students that attend Cass Technical High School. There are 728 students in the ninth grade, 585 students in the tenth grade, 585 in the eleventh grade, and 570 in the twelfth grade.[9]

Ethnicity distributionEdit

Of the 2,468 students that attend Cass Technical High School, 2,035 (82.5%) of them are Black or African American, 233 (9.4%) are Asian American, 147 (6.0%) are Hispanic or Latino, 12 (0.5%) are White, 28 (1.1%) are Arab, and 7 (0.3%) are American Indian or Alaska Native.[10]

Gender distributionEdit

Of the 2,468 students, there are 1,520 (60.8%) girls and 948 (39.2%) boys.[9]


Cass Technical High School's average ACT score is 19, which is four points higher than the average for Detroit public high schools. Cass offers eleven advanced placement courses including language composition, history, chemistry, calculus, and physics. Students are required to maintain a 2.5 grade point average on a scale of 4.0 in order to retain enrollment. Cass Tech students' strong academic performances draw recruiters from across the country, including Ivy League representatives eager to attract the top minority applicants.[11]


In 1984 Cass Tech was honored by the US Department of Education among 262 schools that should "shine as inspirational model for others" that included public and private schools.[12]

In 2006 Cass represented DPS at the National Academic Games Olympics and won the Team Sweepstakes award.[citation needed]

Music departmentEdit


Over the years, the choirs have produced two CDs and are now working on their third. Cass Tech has many choir groups, including the following:

  • Concert Choir
  • Madrigal Singers
  • V-Jetts/Vocal Jazz Ensemble
  • Choral Genesis
  • Cass Tech Men's Glee
  • Mystique Women's Chorale

Harp and vocalEdit

The Harp program, which was established at Cass Tech in 1925.[13] Cass Tech is the only school in the city of Detroit with a Harp and Vocal Ensemble, previously led by nationally-renowned harpist Patricia Terry-Ross.

Harp ensembleEdit

The harp ensemble is usually composed of five well-seasoned student harpists. They each receive private lessons, learning performance skills and the traditional techniques of the Carlos Salzedo Method. The group performs outside of school related functions.


There are beginner, intermediate, advanced and jazz band classes, as well as a marching band. The CTMB (marching band) has performed for Patti LaBelle, Sinbad, and Jay Z as well as various college and university homecomings.[citation needed] The marching band was also a part of the 2007 Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, but was not televised. In 2008, the band performed at Texas Southern University.[citation needed] In 2010, the CTMB participated in Norfolk State University's Homecoming and won first place in the McDonald's Battle of the Bands.[citation needed] In 2013 CTMB went to the 2013 inauguration for President Barack Obama.[14] The concert band program rose to prominence under the direction of Harry Begian, who led the Cass Tech bands from 1947 through 1964. Under his baton, the concert band performed twice at the prestigious Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic, and played literature at a level far beyond that normally performed by a public high school band, including the Symphony in B-flat by Paul Hindemith and La Fiesta Mexicana by H. Owen Reed.


The 2005–2006 Cass Tech String Quartet was the winner at the 2006 MASTA statewide chamber music competition.[citation needed] The quartet was also featured in the 2006 Michigan Youth Arts Festival.[citation needed] The Cass Tech Chamber String Orchestra, the school's advanced orchestra, participated in the All City High School Symphony Orchestra program at the Renaissance Center's Ambassador Ballroom on March 8, 2007.



Cass Tech Technicians Football
Head CoachThomas Wilcher
Head Coach Years14th
Head Coach Wins101
Head Coach Losses56
StadiumCass Tech Football Stadium
Stadium Capacity2,500
Stadium SurfaceNatural Grass
LocationDetroit, Michigan
LeagueD-PSL Division 1
First year1906
School enrollment2156
Record (since 1950)
Wins-Losses-Ties305–220–9 (.580)
State titles3 (2011, 2012, 2016)
League titles7 ('60, '63, '70, '94, '95, '98, '10, '12, '13, '14)
State playoff appearance31 times since 1950
NCAA Division I FBS/FCS Players since 199775
NFL Professionals since 192015

The Cass Tech Technicians football team (also referred to as the Technicians) is a high school football program in Division 1 Public School League, representing Cass Technical High School.

Cass Tech won the 2011, 2012 and 2016 MHSAA Division I state championships.[citation needed]

NFL ProfessionalsEdit

Name Position Height Weight (lbs) Born College Drafted Pro team
Walter Clago[15] E 6'0 195 6/?/1899
Detroit Undrafted Detroit Tigers (APFA)

Rock Island Independents (NFL)

Darris McCord[16] DE/DT/OE 6'6" 250 January 4, 1933
Tennessee 1955, R3, P11 Detroit Lions
Ben John Paolucci[17] DT 6'2" 240 March 5, 1937
Wayne State Undrafted Detroit Lions
Arnie Simkus[18] DE/DT 6'4" 245 March 25, 1943
Schlava, GER
Michigan 1965, R6, P2 New York Jets

Minnesota Vikings

David Boone, Jr.[19] DE 6'3" 248 October 30, 1951
Eastern Mich 1974,R11,P11 Minnesota Vikings
Aaron Kyle[20] CB/S 5'11" 185 April 6, 1954
Wyoming 1976,R1,P26 Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Tom Seabron[21] LB 6'3" 215 May 24, 1957
Michigan 1979,R5,P1 San Francisco 49ers
Harlan Huckleby[22] RB 6'1" 200 December 30, 1957
Michigan 1979,R5,P1 Green Bay Packers
Curtis Greer[23] DE 6'4" 256 November 10, 1957
Michigan 1976,R1,P6 St. Louis Cardinals
Guy Frazier[24] LB 6'2" 217 July 20, 1959
Wyoming 1981,R4,P10 Cincinnati Bengals

Buffalo Bills

Thomas Sidney Sims[25] DT/NT 6'2" 288 April 18, 1967
Pittsburgh 1990,R6,P14 Kansas City Chiefs

Indianapolis Colts

Pat Ivey[26] DE 6'4" 255 December 27, 1972
Missouri Undrafted Green Bay Packers
A. J. Ofodile[27] TE 6'7" 260 October 9, 1973
Missouri 1994,R5,P25 Baltimore Ravens
Clarence Williams[28] RB 5'9" 193 May 16, 1977
Michigan Undrafted Arizona Cardinals
Vernon Gholston DE 6'3" 264 June 5, 1986
Ohio State 2008,R1,P6 New York Jets
Joseph Barksdale OT 6'4" 325 January 1, 1989
LSU 2011,R3,P12 San Diego Chargers

St. Louis Rams

Will Campbell OG 6'4" 311 July 6, 1991
Michigan 2013,R6,P10 New York Jets
Jourdan Lewis CB 5'10" 195 August 31, 1995
Michigan 2017,R3,P92 Dallas Cowboys
Delano Hill S 6'1" 215 November 26, 1995
Michigan 2017,R3,P95 Seattle Seahawks

‡ Active NFL Pro


Name College Years Awards
Marc Parrish Michigan 1982–1986 Captain of University of Michigan Swimming Team, All Big Ten, All American



State championshipsEdit

1956 Boys Class A State Champions[29]
1975 Boys Class A State Champions[30]

NBA professionalsEdit
Name Position Height Weight (lbs) Born College Drafted Pro team
George Brown Forward 6'6" 190 October 30, 1935
Detroit, Michigan
Wayne State 4th round, 3rd pick
1957 NBA draft
Minneapolis Lakers
Dorie Murrey Forward–Center 6'8" 215 September 7, 1943
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit 2nd round, 2nd pick
1966 NBA draft
Detroit Pistons
Seattle SuperSonics
Portland Trail Blazers
Baltimore Bullets
Derrick Dial Guard 6'4" 184 December 20, 1975
Detroit, Michigan
Eastern Michigan 2nd round, 23rd pick
1998 NBA draft
San Antonio Spurs
New Jersey Nets
Toronto Raptors
Orlando Magic
Chris Douglas-Roberts Guard 6'7" 200 January 8, 1987
Detroit, Michigan
Memphis 2nd round, 10th pick
2008 NBA draft
New Jersey Nets
Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks
Charlotte Bobcats
Los Angeles Clippers
Willam Mayfield Power Forward 205 October 17, 1957
Detroit, Michigan
Iowa Undrafted
1979 NBA draft
Golden State Warriors

Track and fieldEdit

Cass Tech's track and field history goes back to 1926 when Eddie Tolan and his teammate Loving won the interscholastic track meet at Northwestern University.[31] Tolan came to be known as the "Midnight Express". He set world records in the 100-yard dash and 100 meters event and Olympic records in the 100 meters and 200 meters events.[citation needed] He was the first African-American to receive the title of the "world's fastest human" after winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters events at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In March 1935, Tolan won the 75, 100 and 220-yard events at the World Professional Sprint Championships in Melbourne, Australia to become the first man to win both the amateur and professional world sprint championships. In his full career as a sprinter, Tolan won 300 races and lost only 7.[32]

Northwestern Interscholastic Track Meet
Date Ranking
March 1926 1st Place – National Champions[33]
March 1927 3rd Place[34]
March 1928 3rd Place[35]

Boys Track & Field Team State ChampionshipsEdit

Year Champion (Coach) Runner-Up
1996 Detroit Cass Technical (Tom Wilcher) Pontiac Northern
1995 Detroit Cass Technical (Tom Wilcher) Detroit Chadsey
1994 Detroit Cass Technical (Tom Wilcher) Ann Arbor Pioneer
1978 Detroit Cass Technical (Robert Glenn) Flint Southwestern
1926 Detroit Cass Technical (Bill Van Orden) Kalamazoo

Notable alumni and peopleEdit

Art, architecture, designEdit

  • Harry Bertoia, (1915–1978) Italian-born artist, jeweler, printmaker, sculptor, and modern furniture designer[36]
  • John DeLorean, (1925–2005) automobile executive, inventor of DeLorean automobile
  • Niels Diffrient, (1928–2013), industrial designer
  • LeRoy Foster, (1925-1993), painter and muralist
  • Ray Johnson, (1927–1995) seminal figure of Pop Art movement, "Founding Father of Mail Art", and pioneered use of language in visual arts
  • Stanley Lechtzin, jeweler and educator, known for his research of electroforming and computer aided design[37]
  • Judy Pfaff, artist, known mainly for Installation art
  • Charles Pollock (1930–2013), industrial designer
  • Renée Radell, artist
  • Berta Rosenbaum Golahny, (1925–2005), painter, printmaker, and sculptor
  • Ruth Adler Schnee, (class of 1942) German-born American textile designer and interior designer, known for her modern prints and abstract-patterns of organic and geometric forms.[38]
  • Charles M. Wysocki, Jr., (1928–2002) painter

Arts and entertainmentEdit





Law, government, and public policyEdit




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  2. ^ "Home." Cass Technical High School. Retrieved on November 3, 2012. "2501 Second Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48201"
  3. ^ Midtown location from the University Cultural Center Association, retrieved June 9, 1001
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  5. ^ "WEEKLY LIST OF ACTIONS TAKEN ON PROPERTIES: March 28, 2011 THROUGH April 1, 2011". National Park Service. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
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  7. ^ Images and information on the demolition of the structure can be found in the Homrich Demolition project file.
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  30. ^,4865755&dq=cass+tech+football&hl=en%7C Cass Tech finish #1
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  1. Beamer, Christine. "'U' catches Cass Tech talent". The Michigan Daily. 5 Apr 6.
  2. "DPS students shine at the National Academic Games Olympics". DPS News online. May 19, 2006. Detroit Public Schools. Apr 22, 2007. DPS students shine at the National Academic Games Olympics
  3. Shurney, Simone. "Music program is aged to perfection". CT Visionary. Apr 30, 2007.
  4. Farrell, Perry. "Douglass earns 1st playoff trip". Detroit Free Press. 19 Oct 7.

External linksEdit