Memphis’ first men’s football head coach Pete Bermel dies


MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Memphis Athletics is saddened to learn of the passing of Pierre Bermel, the first men’s soccer head coach in the school’s history. Bermel was 81 years old.

“Coach Bermel started this program back when it was at Memphis State University and gave it such a solid foundation that we still use it today,” said the Tiger’s current head coach. Richard mulrooney noted. “I remember my dad taking me to Echles Field when MSU was playing in the ’80s, and that was my first memory of college football and when I was introduced to MSU in person.

“I am eternally grateful for the program he started, and I hope to continue to run the program in the same positive way as Coach Bermel. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”

Bermel began the Tiger program in 1982 and coached for six seasons during the 1987 campaign. He amassed a 61-48-14 record during that period, laying the foundation for the program for its next four decades.

Born June 12, 1940, Bermel emigrated from the Netherlands in the 1960s and his life well lived included driving Formula Ford racing cars at Silverstone in England in the 1970s, forming the Tiger football team in the 1980s, captain of a 45-foot-long team. 1969 Hatteras chartered a fishing boat in Destin, Florida in the 1990s and sailed the Caribbean aboard a sailboat with his wife in the 2000s.

His family’s hairdressing business allowed him to respond to a Texan ad asking European hairdressers to come to America. He quickly moved to Memphis, and his siblings began to join him and established the locally renowned Bermels barber shop near Poplar Avenue and Humes Street. Together, their work has given countless people the confidence to take on the world.

He is survived by all of his sons, Jeff Norton, Erich Bermel and Andrew Bermel; his wife, Claire Ozenovich Bermel; his brothers, Jozef, Frank, Peter, Hans, Heinz and Gerard; her sisters, Rina, Marga, Maria and Annamarie; and their many children and grandchildren.

For more information and to leave your condolences and read Bermel’s obituary, visit

How to follow the Tigers: For complete information on Memphis Tiger Men’s Soccer, visit and follow the team’s social media at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


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