UNDATED – Former Peru State student-athlete and football coach Derek Derr was announced as a new coaching addition to the Wroclaw Panthers Football team in Poland. Derr will serve as the defensive coordinator for the team and hopes to add to their successes of last year’s Polish American Football League (PAFL) title.
When asked about his decision to move, Derr, the Maitland, Mo., native mentioned, “I’ve always been interested in coaching in Europe, to continue doing what I love and see a new part of the world.”
The Panthers are located in Wroclaw, Poland. Originally, Wroclaw had two teams, Giants Wroclaw and Devils Wroclaw, but were merged when the team was founded in 2013. Since their founding, the Panthers have had a prosperous track record of competing in the Polish Bowl every season.
Derr noted, “The team has the best talent in Poland, excellent facility, and great fan support. I’m looking forward to getting started on another Championship run.”
As a four-year football team member at Peru State, Derr lettered all four years, was an NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athlete, and made the Dean’s List. On the field, Derr ranked 30th overall in the NAIA for Tackles in all positions with 8.9 per game during his senior season.
After having many successes at Peru, Derr played for the Iowa Blackhawks (2010-2011) where he contributed to a 2010 APFL championship win.
In August of 2011, Derr decided to make the move back to his alma mater and became an adjunct professor teaching basic wellness and how to lead a healthy lifestyle. In the coming months after his move back, Derr eventually became a member of the Peru State football coaching staff where he proved his knowledge of the game and was promoted to defensive coordinator in January of 2015.
Along with being an assistant coach to the football team, Derr also contributed by becoming the strength and conditioning coordinator in December 2012. While in this role, he developed football specific programs for weight-room and field conditioning to improve student-athletes’ lifting and running techniques.
Most recently Derr moved to the University of Minnesota Crookston in July 2017 where he took the role of assistant coach and strength and conditioning coordinator. As an assistant coach in Minnesota, Derr was responsible for coaching running backs, full backs, and tight ends for the Golden Eagles 2017 season.
The Panthers will begin play in March.