Merrill native Derek Hoff has worked his way up through the ranks to become the head coach for the South Milwaukee football program in 2014.
The offensive coordinator for the past five years, Hoff wants to build on the team’s recent growth and take it to new horizons.
“I feel very blessed to have this opportunity at South Milwaukee,” Hoff said. “I have developed a great rapport with the students. My athletic director, Ante Udovicic, is a phenomenal guy to work for and trusts me to bring this program to heights it’s never seen before.
“In South Milwaukee, we’ve always focused on beating our crosstown conference Rival the Cudahy Packers and for the last 5 years we’ve done that. The expectation now in SM is that we crush Cudahy, but we need to start focusing on the Greendales and Pewaukees on the west side of our conference if we want to become elite in the state. We’ve won our side of the division the last two years, but have struggled against those two teams who are powerhouses in the state.
“My plans for this current team are to win conference and make a run at a state title. My plans for the program include winning multiple state titles and being a perennial powerhouse in the state. 
“Along with that I have a motto that I follow with my program and that’s the FACTS of HOFF – Faith/Family, Academics, Community, Team-Unity, Self-Improvement.  I have preached these cornerstones since I got the head job and have been working hard to instill these values in these young men.”
South Milwaukee is a suburb of Milwaukee of 20,000+ people located between Cudahy and Oak Creek.
“There are great kids in SM and it is a pleasure teaching and coaching here,” Hoff said. “As a program and a team I believe we are now setting goals to reach our full potential. 
“When it’s all said and done I want my legacy to be that I made people around me better.  Better players, teammates, workers, friends, students, competitors, fathers, husbands and better spiritually.”
Hoff started for four years as a wide receiver at UW-Platteville and was a captain and earned All-WIAC honors as a senior. He was made the passing coordinator and wide receivers coach at UW-P in 2007, then was hired at South Milwaukee in 2008.
Hoff credits several former coaches, starting with his dad, Mike, as well as Duane Gray, Tom Tourtillott, John Paul, Rich Flatau, Greg Schofield, Andy Ament, Mike Weckwerth and UW-P head coach Mike Emendorfer.
His is married to Kimberly and the couple have two daughters, Violet and Harper.