"The whole weekend was incredible," Herb Deromedi said. "The way the people of South Bend respond to the event is just fantastic. It was raining during the parade, but they were lining the streets holding umbrellas and waving. That was a neat thing to see. Everything was done in a first-class manner for the entire weekend and it's an experience I'll never forget.
"It was an honor to be able to share the experience with my wife, Marilyn, and my family," he added. "Rick Poljan and Chris McKay both made trips to the event and I appreciated them being there as well."
Deromedi was part of an 18-member enshrinement class that included Mount Union quarterback Jim Ballard; Oklahoma center Tom Brahaney; Michigan defensive back Dave Brown; Clemson linebacker Jeff Davis; Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie; Jackson State coach W.C. Gorden; Texas defensive back Johnnie Johnson; Ohio State quarterback Rex Kern; North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon; Penn State head coach Joe Paterno; head coach Doug Porter (Mississippi Valley State, Howard, Fort Valley State); Texas A&I defensive end John Randle; Oregon running back Ahmad Rashad; McMurry halfback Brad Rowland; Indiana running back Anthony Thompson; Houston defensive tackle Wilson Whitley; Dartmouth linebacker Reggie Williams; Southern California linebacker Richard Wood and Notre Dame nose tackle Chris Zorich.
"The other individuals who were honored are such an incredible group of people," Deromedi said. "You can list everyone's accomplishments, but, and I mean this sincerely, they are all very humble and appreciative of the honor. Just having the opportunity to talk and share time with all of the different individuals in that group was a neat experience."
Along with the enshrinement ceremony and hall of fame parade, the inductees participated in a flag football game and autograph signing among other activities.
"Our team won the flag football game, but it helped that we had Doug Flutie on our team," Deromedi said.
For Deromedi, one of the highlights of the weekend was realizing just how much the CMU football program was respected, not only among fans in attendance but by the inductees as well.
"They all knew about Central Michigan," he said. "It didn't matter where they were from or how many people knew who they were, but they all knew about Central Michigan. There was an autograph session that lasted about an hour and a half, and you wouldn't believe the number of people that came through and wanted to talk about Central Michigan. That was pretty heart-warming."
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.
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.
Deromedi Enshrined at College Football Hall
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