Sunday, May 26, 2024

‘The phoenix always rises from the ashes’

Championship-winning coach joins Lake Worth ISD

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LAKE WORTH — Lake Worth ISD has announced 2023 5A TABC Assistant Coach of the Year Derrick Douglas as its new head boys’ basketball coach. Last year, Douglas’ team at Justin F. Kimball High School won the 5A state championship. During his 25-year tenure, Douglas has coached three McDonald’s All-Americans and 11 TABC All-State players.
“I know what it takes to win state. I’ve got to get them to understand and believe that I can give them a recipe to win state or to get to the playoffs,” Douglas said. “I’ve seen it from beginning to the end.”
The Lake Worth High School boys varsity basketball team finished the 2023-2024 season with a record of 2-26 and went 0-10 within the district.
“I have different expectations. I expect to win,” Douglas said, speaking about LWHS’ previous season.
There is no doubt Douglas comes with years of experience in winning cultures. He credits much of his success to his colleagues and mentors he has coached with over the years.
“I’ve taken something from all of those guys and kind of put it in a pot and you get me,” Douglas said.
He began his career when he was invited to coach under basketball head coach Felley Donaldson. Donaldson coached for 38 years at Eastern Hills High School and had three undefeated seasons during his time there. In 2013 the gymnasium at EHHS was named in his honor. He is just one of the many coaches who have influenced Douglas’ winning mentality.
Douglas is full of optimism that he can help turn the LWHS boys basketball program around for the better. He is bringing vision and is eager to get started.
“Just getting there and becoming part of the culture and just trying to create change and instill confidence in the guys because you know, it's been kind of dormant for a while and just make sure that they understand we are just as good as everybody else,” Douglas said.
His goal for the boys’ basketball team this year is to win district games and get into the playoffs. He will also coach the ninth-grade football team. Although Douglas has never coached football before, he shows no signs of insecurity in his new venture.
“I’m a coach. So, I don't think coaching is different from one sport to the other. It’s just helping kids get better at what they’re doing. But it's the intricacies and the techniques and stuff, those are things I have to learn. But coaching is one and the same,” Douglas said.
He is very much looking forward to being a part of the Lake Worth community. What he wants to show the community is the power of self-confidence. He is ready and equipped to teach his players resilience and the grit to win.
“Get the community to see the phoenix, because the phoenix always rises from the ashes,” Douglas said, speaking about what he wants the community to see.
Douglas will begin coaching this summer by working with the athletes to do strength and conditioning training. He will also host open gyms for the athletes to be able to play over the summer.