Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome Home

Last week Oakland County prep legend Dane Fife made his official return to the state of Michigan by accepting an assistant coaching job with the Michigan State University basketball program under head coach Tom Izzo.
I for one am ecstatic that my main man Dane has returned to the local hoops scene, making it the first time in 13 years that all three Fife boys (Dane, Dugan & Jeremy) are back living in the state together. And believe me, the more Fifes there are in the area, the better it is for all of us.
Dane is the youngest son of renowned Clarkston basketball coach Dan Fife and for the past six years he has been the head coach at IPFW of the Summit League. Even though he's no longer top dog, this is the best move for the younger Fife and a one-way ticket to a big time college head coaching job. The Izzo coaching tree is vast and continuously plentiful. Within a few years, I guarantee Dane will be a head coach again and with all due respect to his previous employer, this time at a much larger and better program.
Back in the 1990s, Dane was an epic two-sport stud for the C-Town Wolfpack, excelling on both the gridiron and the hardwood. Leading his dad's cage squad to four straight regional crowns, as a senior in 1998 he won the state's coveted Mr. Basketball Award. That same year, he was one of the state's top quarterbacks on the football field, garnering several major college offers.
When it was all said and done in the recruiting process, Dane chose to play hoops at Indiana University, where he was a four-year starter, captaining the Hoosiers to the NCAA Final Four in 2002, where they lost in the championship game to Maryland. He is IU's all-time leader in steals and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. Prior to taking the job at IPFW, he was an assistant under Mike Davis at IU.
While donning the IU cream and crimson as a player with the Hoosiers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Dane became the fourth member of his family to compete at the D1 level in college. His father Dan was captain of the Michigan Wolverines in the early 70s under Johnny Orr, prior to a short professional baseball career as a pitcher with the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. His older brothers Dugan and Jeremy did their hoop thang too. Dugan followed in his dad's footsteps and played at Michigan from 1992 until 1996 under Steve Fisher, going to a NCAA Final Four in '93 and an Elite Eight in '94. Jeremy played at Niagra for two years (96-97), before finishing off his career in the GLIAC at Grand Valley State (98-99). Just like Dane, Dan, Dugan and Jeremy were also all-state football players for the Wolfpack in their prep heyday.


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