Derek Rodine to be honored at Concordia Classic on Saturday

By Emma Hopfer on Jan. 31, 2014 in Track & Field

Derek Rodine to be honored at Concordia Classic on Saturday

SEWARD, Neb. – The late Derek Rodine will be honored on Saturday as part of the Concordia Classic track and field meet held in the Field House. A short ceremony will be held at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday to remember Rodine, who died tragically in a car accident on July 28, 2013. A video will be played on the Field House video board in his honor.

Rodine, an alum who attended Concordia from 2008-12, was a member of both the Bulldog track and field and football programs. As an accomplished thrower, Derek qualified for national championships, earned many all-conference honors and won a GPAC title in the shot put in 2011. He was also an all-conference performer on the football field.


Concordia throws coach Ed McLaughlin wrote the following after reflecting on Derek’s memory:

How do you describe a man’s life, especially one that is cut so short that it seems almost criminal? I have thought long and hard about Derek since his passing. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t remember him either because of something the kids say or do, or some song on the airwaves that makes me think of that horrible beard - especially now when the throwers have honored Derek by making their warm-up shirts look like his. The last couple of weeks have been the hardest since it first happened. I look around and I see him everywhere. When we starting looking for volunteers for this meet, the first person I wanted to call was Derek. Most of the time though, it’s just thinking about how much he is missed by all of us.

Derek is and always will be one of the special ones. Every coach has them, an athlete who exemplifies everything you are trying to accomplish with your program. Derek is one of those for me. Derek was not a highly recruited thrower, but he worked and he worked, and he had some bumps in the road. But at the end of the day he gave it everything he had, which is why it was so heartbreaking for him not to achieve his goal of being an All-American thrower. He made himself into a nationally-ranked thrower in the shot put, hammer and weight throw. He even won a conference championship but more importantly, he was a great friend and teammate.

In 2012 when he withdrew from the indoor championships because of an incorrect mark, which would have allowed him to finish as the national champion runner-up, that was the proudest and saddest moment of my coaching career. He did something that I don’t think anyone else would have even considered and he did it without any hesitation. The cost of the act was great on him. We sat together for a long time that day, talking about what could have been, what might have happened and what we could do. At the end of it, we realized it was all a part of a plan. That it was unfortunate but he could hold his head high and walk with pride.

I will always remember Derek. He is never far from my thoughts. I always picture him smiling through that ugly beard.


The Concordia Classic begins today (Friday) at 3 p.m. with the multi events. For a complete schedule of events, click HERE. On Saturday, the Concordia Sports Network will webcast the meet live from 11 a.m. through the conclusion of the meet.