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.