Deromedi Inducted Into College Football Hall

MOUNT PLEASANT - Former Central Michigan University head football coach and director of athletics Herb Deromedi is recognized by the National Football Foundation with enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame at an awards dinner Tuesday night, Dec. 4, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Herb Deromedi was informed of his induction into the Hall of Fame earlier this year, and the NFF's 50th Annual Awards Dinner will be the first official function at which he will be formally recognized as a member of the Hall's Class of 2007.

"When I found out I was going to be inducted, I was very humbled by the honor because of what the game of football has meant to me and because I will be recognized alongside people that have represented the game as coaches," Deromedi said. "I'm going to be part of an elite group of men that have been instrumental in the game, and it's an honor that I will always treasure."

Deromedi is one of 14 members of the induction class that will also be recognized in July 2008 at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. He is the first representative of CMU to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and the second head coach to be recognized primarily for his work in the Mid-American Conference (Doyt Perry, Bowling Green, 1955-64).

Two individuals who played in the MAC have been enshrined in South Bend: Toledo defensive tackle Mel Long (1969-71) and Miami linebacker Bob Babich (1966-68). Other coaches in the hall who had served as head coaches in the MAC include Woody Hayes (Miami, 1949-50), Ara Parseghian (Miami, 1951-55), Bo Schembechler (Miami 1963-68), Don Nehlen (Bowling Green, 1968-76) and Don James (Kent State, 1971-74).

The College Football Hall of Fame numbers just over 800 members. Only 173 coaches are currently enshrined.

Deromedi learned of his induction is a most unlikely way. He and his wife, Marilyn, had planned a trip to Washington, D.C., and Marilyn had ordered a new pair of shoes for walking around during the visit to our nation's capital. When a package arrived at his house, Deromedi opened it, expecting to see the shoes his wife had purchased. Instead, he found a football, sent by the National Football Foundation, congratulating him on his pending enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame.

"I was extremely taken aback by it because I wasn't expecting to see anything like that," Deromedi said. "When Marilyn got home and I shared it with her, it was a very emotional moment, and one that I will never forget."

Deromedi (110-55-10 overall) is the winningest coach in both CMU and MAC history. His 90 MAC wins are also a conference record. He guided the Chippewas to three MAC titles during his 16-year tenure and was twice named MAC Coach of the Year. When he left CMU's sideline, Deromedi ranked 15th nationally among active coaches in terms of winning percentage (.657).

Deromedi joined Roy Kramer's staff at CMU as an assistant in 1967. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1969, a position he held when the Chippewas won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1974.

Deromedi succeeded Kramer as head coach in 1978, becoming the 16th head football coach in school history. He served as head coach at CMU from 1978-93, leading the Chippewas to MAC titles in 1979, 1980 and 1990. He was named MAC Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1990 and is the only coach to win a MAC title in three different decades.

"I thought that we did a great job as a coaching staff of teaching players what we wanted to have done, and our players performed what we wanted to have done on the field," Deromedi said about his teams. "I felt that when people watched us play, they saw a team that was well-schooled and was disciplined, and a team that was tough. We took pride in saying that we were a tough football team."

Two of the most significant wins in school history came with Deromedi on the sideline. He oversaw CMU's 20-3 win at No. 18 Michigan State in 1991, then returned to East Lansing and led the Chippewas to a 24-20 win over the Spartans in 1992.

A total of 71 Chippewas earned All-MAC first team honors under Deromedi, including future NFL players Curtis Adams, Ray Bentley, Jim Bowman, Brock Gutierrez, Gary Hogeboom, Robert Jackson and Scott Rehberg.

Deromedi has served on the NCAA Football Rules Committee (chair in 2003), the Michigan Chapter of the National Football Foundation, the NCAA Division I Strategic Planning Cabinet and the NCAA Football Issues Committee.

He is a member of the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, the Central Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Deromedi's 10 years as director of athletics at CMU were highlighted by an extensive upgrade of the campus's athletic facilities. CMU won a total of 34 MAC championships during his tenure and claimed the MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award eight times in a nine-year span.


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