Photo of “Derb” with Superbowl Champion coach and Clay alum Jon Gruden, then at the ring ceremony for the 1994 State Championship basketball team.
Jim Derbin “Derb”
On Tuesday morning 12/4/2018 Clay High School’s most strident rooter was silenced. Jim Derbin died at Healthwin Hospital. “Derb” loved the school and its kids reciprocated. His particularly unique rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was followed by his heartfelt exhortation, “Let’s get some runs.” He was to Clay athletics what Harry Carey was to the Cubs. For over 40 years he walked the sidelines, paced the court sides, grabbed the dugout railings charging the Colonials to victory. He no longer will advocate a fullback dive pass to the tight end or a fast change-up to the outside corner. When covering Clay sporting events local cameras sought him out exposing his chants and jigs to the entire community. Returning players made an effort to literally touch base with the Derb. He tended to remember the athletes he cheered. On football Friday night at Penn the Kingsmen saved a pressbox chair and some chicken for the Clay notable. Derb was a Roseland personality as well. The small town had an honorary mayor. Derbin was an icon and though icons are impossible to replace they are also impossible to forget. Clay High lost her number one booster but gained a guardian angel.