Putting future podiatrist Michael McDermott (Class of 1982) into a single category is impossible reflecting on his athletics, academic and extra-curricular interests at Loras. McDermott was All-American football player, mainstay weight man on the track team and a cheerleader. In addition, he carried a rigorous academic load that led to a B.S. in biology. McDermott, a nose tackle and defensive lineman, came along when Loras was just getting back on the intercollegiate football field - and was a big reason success came quickly in the Bob Bierie-coached era.
After a distinguished high school career out of Jamaica, Iowa, McDermott came to Loras at a time of change. After playing one year of club football, he helped usher in the highly successful Bierie reign that led to 19 winning seasons in 25 years and 144 victories. Bierie labeled him the ``best nose tackle to play that position in my years as head coach.'' That assessment was echoed by other former coaches and teammates. Twice he was NAIA Regional Player of the Week, senior co-captain and All-NAIA District 15 as a senior when he earned his All-American status.
Above all on the football field, the fun-loving McDermott is recalled as an inspirational leader. In only its second season back, the new Duhawks went 5-5 including a triumph over arch-rival St. Ambrose and won four of their final five games. In 1981, McDermott was the main defensive reason Loras was 6-3-1 with a victory over city rival University of Dubuque and a tie with St. Ambrose while averaging a meager 11.8 points a game on offense. The defense was stellar, only once giving up more than two touchdowns. And as usual McDermott came up big in crucial games -- a 30-tackle game (a school record) against St. Ambrose to keep the coveted Bell Trophy, a comeback victory over then NAIA power Iowa Wesleyan and a defeat of cross-town rival University of Dubuque starting a string of 21 victories over the Spartans in 23 years. McDermott's 158 tackles for the season remains the school record.
On the track, McDermott was a big producer of points in the javelin and other weight events. In his senior year he showed his Loras spirit as one of the four men on the basketball cheerleading squad and was active in intramurals, the science club and Delta Sigma.
After Loras, McDermott earned a medical degree and has a practice in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park where he lives with his wife Jackie and their children Jake, Mark and Brooke. He is a youth coach in baseball, softball, football and soccer. McDermott serves on the village scholarship committee and directs the athletic booster club at his son's high school.