Dean Lamirand ’93 transformed his love of sports and team loyalty into a successful life centered on family and career. Growing up in Bay Village, Dean attended St. Raphael grade school in a world that revolved around sports – first soccer, then football, basketball and baseball. He remembers, “I was always on some field or at the gym!”
Drawn to the reputation of Saint Ignatius High School, he entered as a freshman and began playing on a Wildcat team every season, starting with freshman football under coach Rory Hennessey ’78. “He made us mentally tough. That formed our team and bound us together, starting out on the right foot with teammates that stayed together for all four years,” says Dean. “Sports taught me to manage my time, with all the work it took to be successful in academics and athletics.” Dean not only did well in classes, he grew in his Catholic faith. “Just being exposed to it on a daily basis helps you learn more and grow in your faith.”
Dean lettered in basketball and joined the track team after coach Chuck Kyle ’69 encouraged him to improve his running. But it was on the football team where Dean made his greatest impact. As a sophomore, he was a significant contributor at tailback, and as a junior he led the ’91 championship team with more than 1,000 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns – including his memorable 75-yard touchdown reception from Kevin Mayer ’92 for a comeback win in the title game against Centerville. “I remember fumbling a few times early in that game and really wanted to redeem myself,” he laughs. “I was open, Kevin found me, and I made it into the end zone.” As co-captain in his senior year, Dean excelled at defensive back, including a dramatic end zone interception on a snow-covered field to steal the lead from St. Xavier.
Football at Saint Ignatius became an extended family, especially after his father Dale passed away from cancer at the end of Dean’s sophomore year. “He was really involved and proud of what we were doing. After his death, it was helpful for my mom to feel like part of the team with all the other parents,” recalls Dean.
At John Carroll University, Dean played football all four years and graduated with a degree in marketing. He works for ShurTech Brands in Avon where he’s advanced in sales, marketing and purchasing during his 21-year career. In 2000, he married his wife Michaela of Rocky River, employed at KeyBank. Their life revolves around sports and boys, as they raise three sons – Saint Ignatius student Nick ’21, along with Michael and Jake at St. Raphael school.
“What I learned in sports has kept me focused and disciplined. And my competitiveness helps me have that drive in the business world,” reflects Dean. “Earning a place in the Saint Ignatius Hall of Fame has been very humbling, as I think of the thousands of guys who’ve played sports here. They build a sense of camaraderie and friendship as ‘men for others.’ It’s about helping the team succeed, not just a star player. Beyond great coaching or facilities or off-season training, that’s the key to success.”