Inducted 1995. Volunteered for Football “Chain Gang” for 32 Years.
Derhake is one of the several volunteers who give their time for Notre Dame’s athletic programs. He has worked with the sideline “chain gang” for home football games for the past 32 years. He also was the official timer for the boys basketball games for 10 years.
“I got started when my sons started playing football,” he said. “I liked doing it, and I just kept going because my children were going to the games. I have the best seat in the house for every play, and I’ve only missed a couple of games.”
Derhake attended Quincy College Academy for two years, then attended Notre Dame for two years before graduating in 1942. He played baseball for three years and was the equipment manager for the football team, coached by Mart Heinen. He served in the Army during World War II, then worked for the United States Postal Service until his retirement in 1980.
“I just can’t sit around, even if I’m retired,” he said. “I love football, and I never did get to play when I was in school. This is how I stay active.”
Derhake lives in Fowler, Illinois with his wife, Marge. They will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary in June. Their children – sons Dan, Dave, John and Jerry, and daughters Ellen and Lori – are all graduates of Christian Brothers or Notre Dame.