Derek has always had a passion for the game of baseball. Growing up in Sarasota, a place that is famous for its history and tradition in the sport of baseball, had an impact on Derek in his childhood. He began playing Little League baseball at the park on 12th Street. After Little League, Derek advance to play Babe Ruth baseball through high school. After high school, he played softball in college and continued playing softball in his adult years. Derek simply has a love for the game. Although he was not as gifted as some other players, Derek maintained a passion for the game and its teachings in everyday life.
When Derek’s oldest son turned 3, Derek began coaching his T-ball team at Cal Ripken, the facility located on 12th Street, the very park where he grew up playing. He coached every fall and spring for his eldest son from ages 3 through 12. When his eldest son was 7, Derek coached his first All Star team that won their Districts and advanced to the State Championship. Since then, Derek has coached 8 All Star teams at Cal Ripken. In addition, Derek coached his eldest son’s travel baseball team, the Salty Dawgs, along with Manager Roger Miller. The Salty Dawgs were one of the most successful travel baseball teams in the nation. They won over 90% of their games and claimed several major championships. In Cooperstown, they finished 3rd out of 104 teams from all around the nation. It was not uncommon at that time for Derek to be at the ballpark 29 out of 31 days in a months, 10 months a year.
Derek now coaches his youngest son’s travel ball team, the Sarasota Sharks, as well as his youngest son’s recreation and All Star teams. When his youngest son was 8 years old, Derek coached his All Star team which won the State Championship and advanced to the final game of the Southeast Regional Championship. Most recently, Derek manages his youngest son’s 10 year old All Star team that won the State Championship as well as the Southeast Regional Championship. Derek is taking this team to the 10U World Series in Winchester, Virginia in an attempt to become the first local Cal Ripken to ever win a World Series title.
Derek is a highly competitive coach who coaches the kids because he prefers to mentor them so that they become good citizens and to teach them life lessons. He really believes that because baseball is a game of failure, it teaches you more valuable lessons than most other sports. He also believes that because baseball requires extreme dedication and an emphasis on fundamentals, it helps one in developing their grit and determination in conquering the battles of life. Finally, youth athletics allows one to appreciate humanity, compassion, and a zest for life. As a criminal defense attorney, it would be easy to become callous to human nature. However, being around youthful exuberance quickly balances the callousness.
Derek will continue to coach his youngest son for a few more years before taking a break. He envisions coming back and coaching his nephew when he reaches T-ball age.