NORTH AUGUSTA — Mickey Derrick’s coaching career has taken a new turn.
The former Greenbrier head coach is now Fox Creek’s offensive coordinator. Derrick’s on the coaching staff of Russ Schneider, whom he hired as an assistant at Greenbrier in 2000.
“I’m enjoying it. Coach Schneider is a good Christian man,” Derrick said of his new boss. “I enjoy working for him, he’s a little more laid back, but he gets the job done and the kids out here love him.”
For Schneider, the transition from working for Derrick, to being a boss has been difficult.
“You’re going to get intensity, honestly, loyalty and a good Christian man,” Schneider said of Derrick. “Now that he’s out there with us, I still think of him as my boss – it’s kind of hard to flip the role. I don’t think there are many men that I respect more than him, it’s just the way he carries himself.”
Derrick retired from Greenbrier as a teacher in 2006, but remained the coach for a few years after that. In all, he has 37 years of coaching experience, which is a perk to having him on the staff, Schneider said.
“Having the head coaching experience and years of coaching that he has – he knows more football than I ever will,” he said. “You want somebody that will take charge and will grab the bull by the horns and run with it. I don’t have to tell him anything, he jumps in and does his thing. He’s been in more game situations that I have – I thought about that when I asked him to do it. I trust him completely with every bit of it.”
The new leader of the Predator offense comes from working with much larger schools in Georgia.
“These guys really work hard and have impressed me with their dependability,” Derrick said of the team. “They show up to practice and do the drills good, they finish the drills good. The only thing I’m having trouble with is getting used to the numbers. In (Class) 4A and (Class) 5A you have over 100, here you have around 50. I’m just having trouble with working people in, because most of them play both ways.”
One thing Derrick brings to the Fox Creek coaching staff is a strong personality. The coach isn’t shy about yelling during practice or games.
“One thing that I learned my first year coaching is that if you yell at somebody on the practice field, you find something good to say to them,” he said. “I do a lot of yelling and screaming. As a matter of fact, when I get home my wife has to tell me to use my inside voice. I just love talking loud – I want to be heard.”
With all of his experience, Derrick has played a variety of different offenses, something that may help Fox Creek reach their goals at season end.
“This is a little bit different, we ran the spread gun most of the time. Over 37 years we’ve run a lot of different offenses, from the I-Formation to the Wing-T to the gun and had some success with it,” he said. “I’ve told the players that the number one thing for us is to try to win every ballgame and number two is to win the region. We want to make it to the state playoffs.”
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj.