Not even a week after head coach John Bonamego was diagnosed with cancer, the Central Michigan Chippewas had more saddening news to deal with as defensive back Derrick Nash passed away on Monday after a two-year battle with leukemia.
Nash, who became a member of the Chippewas in 2013, was a star standout at Carrollton High School in Saginaw, Michigan. He played running back and defensive back in high school. Nash was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2013, just a couple of months after signing with Central Michigan. He was able to participate in practice in the spring of 2014 before his illness returned.
Obviously, this is an emotional time for those associated with the Central Michigan program.
Both Bonamego and athletic director David Heeke gave statements on Monday through Central Michigan’s athletic website:
“This is a very difficult loss for our football program and entire Chippewa Athletic Program,” said CMU Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “Derrick was an inspiration to us all and the fight he showed will never be forgotten. The incredible courage he exhibited in never allowing this terrible disease to dampen his positive outlook on life, is a tremendous representation of the type of man he was. Our thoughts and prayers are with Derrick’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
“Derrick fought a great fight and he will never be forgotten,” CMU head coach John Bonamego said. “I know everyone can learn a lot from the way he lived his life and the passion and enthusiasm he showed even during the tough times. We will do whatever we need to do to help his family get through this difficult time.
“I never got to coach Derrick on the football field, but I am proud to have been his coach the last few months. He is one of the toughest young men I have ever known and the determination and resolve he showed is how we will always remember him.”
We at TodaysU wish the Nash family our deepest condolences. RIP Derrick Nash.