Photo of Derek Chancy

Derek Chancy '13: Working in the Field

By Theresa Schmidt ‘09

The Gateway Grizzlies scored big this year when they hired McKendree student Derek Chancy as Head Clubhouse Manager for the 2012-2013 season. “I’ve received lots of compliments from the coaches about being so well prepared,” Derek says. “I know sometimes students go through school thinking ‘when am I going to use this, how is this going to help me?’ It’s good to know that the people I’ve worked with have had me so well-prepared; it’s definitely been fun so far.”

"... I’ll make sure it gets taken care of."

As Head Clubhouse Manager, Derek is in charge of equipment, uniforms, dugout cleanliness and anything else the players might need to keep their focus on baseball. He explains, “They bring the players in to play baseball, and I told the players when I came in on Day 1, my priority is to make sure that the only thing you guys are worried about is playing baseball. If a player needs something, I told them to text me, e-mail me, call me - do whatever you need to do to let me know what you need and I’ll make sure it gets taken care of.”

"I have McKendree to thank for that."

In turn, Derek is grateful to be able to call on McKendree’s Head Equipment Manager Brad Oster for anything he needs: “Brad told me if you need anything call me, and I actually ended up calling him earlier today when I had a little issue in the equipment room. He’s been awesome; I was extremely blessed and lucky to have Brad. I kind of shudder to think where I'd be if I not had someone who was prepared and someone who passed that on to me as well. I’ve really hit the ground running because of him. A lot of the systems I was taught are what I’m using here and I’ve received a lot of compliments from the coaches about how well prepared I’ve been, so obviously I have McKendree to thank for that.”

"Let's do it."

The track to success hasn’t been easy for Derek, who started his career in sports playing football in high school and at McKendree before undergoing shoulder surgery last year. He says, “I actually started doing equipment managing for McKendree’s football team as a work study job and as a way to kind of stick around the sport. About halfway through the season, Brad approached me and asked how I enjoyed my job and I said I loved coming to work everyday, I get to sit and watch football and I get to go to the games. He said he thought I had what it took to be a good equipment manager and asked me if I was interested in approaching the career and going through those steps, and I said ‘let’s do it.’”

"McKendree’s Sigma Nu Fraternity ... helped land him the position with the Grizzlies ..."

While Brad helped Derek tailor his original major in physical education to the equipment management career path without lengthening his time in school, it was actually Derek’s membership in McKendree’s Sigma Nu Fraternity that helped land him the position with the Grizzlies and make the switch to baseball. “Baseball, it’s a totally different world - it’s a lot more relaxed atmosphere; being on the sidelines for football, you have coaches yelling directions and trying to make adjustments on the fly. Baseball so far has been a really eye opening experience. It’s a sport I grew up around with my family, and growing up in the St. Louis area, it’s hard to not be a baseball fan. GCS Stadium is definitely a family-oriented park, a family-oriented atmosphere. I’m pretty big on family so it kind of goes along with some of my values and beliefs.”

"There were a lot of different things that went into the decision and I definitely know I made the right one."

In fact, family ties are what led Derek to McKendree in the first place: “My mother Cindy Chancy (nee Smith) actually went to McKendree and received a double major in psychology and sociology in 1976. She paid for her college education herself,” he relates. “A lot of people in this area, even across the country, know McKendree University. McKendree isn’t just ‘some school:’ it’s a name that carries a lot of prestige around this general area. There were a lot of different things that went into the decision and I definitely know I made the right one.”

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