Wanglers Make Shrine a Family Tradition
'No matter what my kids decide to put their hearts into, I’m going to be behind them, rooting them on all the way,' said proud dad and former Shrine and U-M star John Wangler.
Shrine High School and the Wangler family go together like hamburgers and French fries or peanut butter and jelly. It’s a natural fit.
John Wangler originally made the Wangler name synonymous with the highly regarded Royal Oak Catholic school in the 1970s, when he was a two-sport star for the Knights. Selected all-state in football and basketball in his junior and senior years, Wangler is one of Shrine High’s most famous alumni.
After graduating in 1976, Wangler starred on the gridiron at the University of Michigan, quarterbacking the Wolverines to a win in the Rose Bowl during his senior season.
During the past few years, Wangler's children have continued the prolific family legacy with the Knights. His daughter, Halle Wangler, a senior basketball standout, was named all-conference three times and has already earned a Division I scholarship to play at Oakland University. Sons Jack Wangler, a sophomore, and Jared Wangler, a freshman, are starters this year on the school’s varsity football and basketball teams.
“We have a pretty competitive household,” Wangler said. “But I think the competition between the kids is all very positive and encouraging, and that’s the best kind. They all are very talented in their own individual way, and they all support each other 100 percent. It’s a great thing to see.”
Wangler's stepson, Eric Hernandez, is junior and a well-regarded actor, artist and musician at the Shrine. His stepdaughter, Jaleeza Hernandez, is a junior at the University of Michigan and Sierra Wangler is an eighth-grader at Shrine.
“No matter what my kids decide to put their hearts into, I’m going to be behind them, rooting them on all the way,” Wangler said. “I don’t want any of them to cheat themselves out of what they want to do and what endeavors they want to pursue out of some duty to follow in my footsteps.
"That’s not fair to anybody. If they’re passionate about something, then I’m going to be passionate about supporting them.”
Halle Wangler credits her family for spurring her on to the success she has achieved in athletics.
“My father and my brothers have all pushed me hard every step of the way and toughened me up so I could get to where I’m at now,” she said. “We have a great support system for each other. I’m proud to say I’ve become a Division I athlete just like my dad.”
The 2010-11 sport season has been good to the Wangler clan.
In the fall, Jack and Jared helped lead the Knights into the playoffs and a spot in the Catholic High School League championship game at Ford Field. So far this winter, they've helped the Knights boys basketball team to a 7-3 standing. Halle’s girls hoops squad is 9-4, with Halle averaging 17 points and eight rebounds per game.
“Her work ethic is second to none,” Wangler said of his daughter. “She’s dedicated and couldn’t be more committed to the game, her teammates and getting better every day.”
Halle’s head coach, Bill Le Gault, thinks his star player represents the family name with pride.
“They’re just a great family, and Halle is an unbelievable young lady who does the name as proud as she possibly could,” Le Gault said. “I’ve been spoiled having her these last four years, and I’m certainly going to miss her when she’s gone. You can’t teach the things she brings to the court and into the locker room.”