Derby mourns loss of beloved wrestling coach Jeremy Molloy

Published: Aug. 13, 2022 at 9:28 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: The Derby High School wrestling program on Monday announced a date for Coach Jeremy Molloy’s celebration of life and the establishment of a scholarship fund in his name.

In a Facebook post, DHS Panther Wrestling said the celebration of life for Coach Molloy will be Sunday, Aug. 28 at “the round barn.”

“The time has not been set but they are working to get details set,” the program said.

The high school wrestling program said the scholarship fund “will be ready soon.”

“We will do our best to assist in getting you all information as it gets confirmed,” the program said. “It has been a joy to read and hear stories of Jeremy’s impact on the community. Please keep sharing and praying for the family.”

A community is mourning the loss of one of its longtime wrestling coaches. Derby’s Jeremy Molloy died suddenly Friday afternoon, shocking many in the tight-knit town.

Molloy has been a large part of the Derby Panthers wrestling program, from his time as a wrestler there, to his time as an assistant coach. He touched many lives, including some that spoke with Eyewitness News on Saturday, and it’s clear that his legacy will carry on in Derby.

“It kind of hits you like a ton of bricks,” Derby head wrestling coach Bill Ross said. “You know, Jeremy has been a major part of this community and this program for so many years. This is going to sting. It’s going to sting a lot.”

Molloy was a lot of things for Derby’s wrestling program – a great athlete during his wrestling days, and a great motivator as a coach.

“Coach Molloy, man,” said Alex Feldkamp, who wrestled for Derby from 2005-09. “You know, a lot of people didn’t think that I had it in me, and Molloy was one of them that believed.”

“He was a hard-nosed coach but yet at the same time, the kids loved him,” Ross said. “Always showed up for practice ready to go. Had a businesslike attitude and all the kids just gravitated toward his great personality.”

Molloy coached kids of all ages. And those who coached alongside him, as well as former players, say he left an impact on everyone.

“A lot of these kids don’t know the sport of wrestling without him,” assistant coach Kelly Heincker said.

“He was the engine to our team,” Derby senior Troy Allen said. “I’m going to really miss that man. He’s been coaching me since I was 5 years old.”

People close to the program say it will be odd to have a wrestling season without Molloy helping lead it. But his lessons will continue to be taught.

Molloy leaves behind two children, a son and a daughter.

“He may not be here with us on Earth, but his influence will affect all these kids for as long as they’re here,” Ross said. “Everything he’s given to them, they’ll have with them, and they will be able to go impact lives in the same way he impacted their lives.”

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