TriCounty Bradley soccer coach Jim DeRose, leading his Braves to a national ranking for the first time and the school's first ever Missouri Valley Conference title, is the Tri-County Male Coach of the Year for 1998.
Coaching Bradley to a 14-2-2 season, DeRose, a native of Cinnaminson, N.J., ran his three year BU record to 32-21-2. Bradley clinched its first Valley title with a 2-1 overtime win over Drake.
Bradley then fell in the first round of the Valley playoffs, a defeat that cost the Braves a spot in the NCAA post-season tournament. He has used enthusiasm, a hard work ethic and personal popularity to make the main fall men's sport on the hilltop a major item.
DeRose came to Bradley after spending the 1995 season as the top assistant coach at the University of Richmond, where he also served as Director of Tournament Operations for the 1995 NCAA Division I men's soccer national championship.
Before that he spent three seasons as an assistant at Illinois State before they dropped the sport. He also was an assistant at Vermont University in 1991 and began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Johnson State College of Vermont in 1989.
As a goalkeeper for Johnson State, he helped the Badgers to consecutive NAIA national championship tourney appearances for a team that was in the top 20 rankings. As a senior in 1989 he was named an NAIA first team all-American and was named New England Player of the Year. In post-season play, he was named MVP of the Senior Bowl played in Tempe, Ariz.
He later played professionally with the New Mexico Chiles of the American Professional Soccer League in 1990.
Bradley soccer coach Jim DeRose, leading his Braves to a national ranking for the first time and the school's first ever Missouri Valley Conference title, is the Tri-County Male Coach of the Year for 1998.
Tom’s outstanding baseball career was highlighted by Major League baseball appearances as a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the winning pitcher in his first outing with the Jays, his only decision in the Big Leagues.
Gilles was an outstanding athlete at Bergan High School (merged with Peoria AOL/Spalding to become Peoria Notre Dame in 1988). He was selected to All-Conference basketball and baseball teams. He was named All-State in both sports in 1980, his senior year. Tom was a star on the 1980 Bergan Basketball Team (GPSHOF class of 2010) that placed 2nd in the IHSA Class A State Tournament. Arguably, the most memorable moment in Bergan’s basketball history occurred during the tournament when his steal and resulting “buzzer beating” layup gave the Trojans a thrilling 56-55 win over Sterling Newman in the Moline Super-Sectional propelling Bergan to the quarterfinals. Tom was selected to the All-Tournament 1st Team. After Bergan, Gilles continued his baseball career at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, playing for the Sycamores from 1981-85. As a freshman and sophomore, he both played as a position player and relief pitcher. His 3.22 earned run average in 1981 was the lowest among all pitchers. Tom was strictly a position player in his final two years, playing as a regular on ISU teams that won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships in each season. In the summer of 1983, he was selected as a Central Illinois Collegiate League All-Star. Soon after his college career, he attempted to land a spot on the USA Baseball Team’s 30-man roster that would compete in the 1984 Olympic Games. After making the preliminary roster against nationwide competition, he narrowly missed being named to the final roster. Tom signed his first professional contract with the New York Yankees as a 47th round pick in the 1984 draft. He played first and third base his first two seasons in the Yankees organization. He was converted to pitching in 1987 and hurled as a relief pitcher the next five seasons at Appleton, Kenosha, Orlando, and Knoxville, in the Yankees, Royals, Twins, and Blue Jays organizations. He compiled a record of 22-16. After his playing days, he shared his professional experience by coaching high school and college players.