Mike Drass, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Wesley College, died on Monday at the age of 57.
During his 25 years at the helm, the Wolverines compiled a record of 229-69-1, reaching the NCAA Tournament 14 times. Drass was one of just 85 college football coaches to reach 200 career victories and just one of 33 coaches to accomplish the feat with one school, a list that includes Joe Paterno, Eddie Robinson, Tom Osborne and University of Delaware legend Tubby Raymond.
Drass had an undeniable impact on the football program and athletics as a whole at Wesley, but was also deeply involved in his player’s lives even after college.
“He keeps in touch with former players a lot,” said Mike Judy, former standout lineman at Wesley and the current head coach of the two-time defending state champion Smyrna Eagles. “I’ll get random phone calls or text messages from him.”
Another former player, Larry Beavers, had a similar experience a decade after he graduated, receiving support from his former head coach while playing in the Arena Football League where he’s now a nine-year veteran.
“Coach Drass always keeps in contact with me,” Beavers said. “ He tells me he’s watching the games and rooting for me.”
Below is the official release from Wesley College:
Wesley College is deeply saddened to announce the unexpected passing of long-time Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Mike Drass this morning. Coach Drass, 57, has been an integral part of Wesley College for 29 years, starting his Wesley coaching career in 1989. He served for 26 years as head coach of the historically successful program that has produced NFL players and a long list of achievements including thirteen consecutive berths in the NCAA Championship Tournament with 229 wins, 61 losses and 1 tie. He was a devoted father and husband, beloved coach, mentor, teammate and co-worker.
"The Wesley College family's heart is broken, and we are devastated by the loss of our long-time Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, educator and friend," said Wesley College President Robert E. Clark II. "No words can adequately describe how our Wesley College family feels, but our thoughts, prayers and our love are with Laurie, Molly and the entire Drass family,"
We will provide updates as more information becomes available regarding memorial and funeral services.