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.
As a man devoted to sports, Mick Donahue contributed an essential (and sometimes underappreciated) service to organized sports in Peoria for decades. His passion for athletics began as a youth as a participant in the Salvation Army Junior League Tournament and Proctor Center Basketball League. At Peoria Manual High School in the early 50’s, he played on the baseball team. After graduating from Manual, he was a player/manager on the LeTourneau-Westinghouse team in the old Industrial League, which was one of the nation’s top amateur sports organizations at the time.
Mick spent much of his life coaching, organizing and officiating youth sports in the area, especially baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball. He volunteered as a coach from 1957-72 for the St. Boniface Mustangs. Additionally he coached numerous Little League and Pony League teams.
Over the next several decades, he volunteered thousands of hours organizing and administering officials for various league play in the community. Beginning in 1972, he supervised adult softball and basketball leagues for the Peoria Park District. He also scheduled officials/umpires for the area’s catholic grade schools as well as many basketball, baseball, and softball games for the Peoria Public Schools. In his over 30 years with the Peoria Park District, Mick trained, assigned, and supervised officials for adult softball games for leagues at Peoria Stadium and Sterling school. He organized a force of volunteer basketball officials for the Prairie State Games.
Even after his passing in 2011, his legacy in sports continued to have a positive impact for a charitable cause. As a tribute and acknowledgement of his decades of dedication to local softball leagues, a Mick Donahue Memorial Tournament was held in August of 2013, on the park district diamonds near Peoria Stadium. Many teams participated and many others, including umpires, volunteered their services. Proceeds from the successful event were donated to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation, a disease being fought by his granddaughter. Concurrent with the tournament, a park bench was dedicated near the large diamond near Peoria Stadium. The small plaque affixed to the bench, reads, “In Memory of Mick Donahue for his dedication to softball and the Peoria Park District.”