Dalton State Names Former Division I Academic All-American as Athletic Director
January 25, 2012
Atlanta native Derek Waugh has been named Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Dalton State College. Waugh, who currently serves as Assistant Athletic Director for Stetson University in DeLand, FL, will assume duties at Dalton State February 1. Waugh spent most of his career at Stetson as the Head Basketball Coach where he went from the youngest Division I Head Coach in the country in 2000, at the age of 29, to the second winningest coach in school history as he transitioned to administration in 2011.
“This is an historic time in the life of our College,” said Dr. John Schwenn, President. “The introduction of intercollegiate athletics will bring a vibrancy to our campus that we hope will spill over to the community and region. This is an essential step to our becoming the traditional four-year college we aspire to be.”
A nationwide search resulted in more than 70 applications for the Athletic Director position; the Search Committee headed by Dalton businessman Ken White invited three candidates to campus. Waugh was selected by President John Schwenn.
“Derek Waugh is an intelligent, high energy individual who we believe is exactly the right person to launch our Roadrunner athletics program,” said Dr. Schwenn. “We look forward to Derek and his family becoming part of our campus community and also part of the Greater Dalton community.”
“We really liked him very well,” said Search Committee Chair Ken White. “We think Derek’s got a lot of energy and that he shows a lot of intelligence. He’s played at a high level, coached at a high level, and been Assistant Athletic Director at a very fine school. We’re very high on him and think he’ll do a great job.”
Dalton State’s intercollegiate athletics program will be funded initially through student fees designated for athletics. The $50 per student per semester fee has been collected since fall 2011. The program is required to be financially self-sufficient through student fees and eventually gate receipts and athletic revenue.
Waugh’s first trip to Dalton was more than 20 years ago as a Marist War Eagle playing the Dalton High School Catamounts in baseball in the 1988 North Georgia Championship. He graduated from Marist School in 1989, serving his senior year as President of the Student Body, succeeding Bret Baier who currently is the head anchor at Fox News. While at Marist, Waugh played in five state championships in basketball and baseball and was the fifth athlete ever named to Marist’s Hall of Fame in 2004.
Waugh played basketball for Furman University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1993. Waugh was the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in basketball in 1990 and helped lead the Furman program to its only Southern Conference championship in the past 31 years in 1991. He was named a GTE Division I Academic All American and First Team All Southern Conference in 1993 and graduated as one of only four players to score 1,400 points and grab 800 rebounds during his career. Waugh was also honored by Furman as their Young Alumnus of the Year in 2000.
After Furman, he bypassed professional basketball offers to further his education. He earned a Juris Doctorate from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1996 where he was President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society.
After law school, Waugh worked as an attorney with the Atlanta law firm of Shreeder, Wheeler & Flint, LLP until the tug of athletics became too strong to resist and he joined Stetson University as an assistant men’s basketball coach in July 1997. In 2000 he was named head men’s basketball coach at the age of 29 and led the Hatters to their best season in over seven years.
During his 11 years as Stetson’s head coach, Waugh was three time runner-up Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year and finished his career second on the school’s all-time coaching win list and third all-time on the Atlantic Sun Conference’s all-time win list. He led the school to many notable wins including a victory over the University of Georgia in 2005. During Waugh’s final season as coach, he led the Hatters to a victory over his alma mater at Wake Forest and secured the 18th ranked mid-major recruiting class in the country according to ESPN.com.
As Stetson’s Assistant Athletic Director since March 2011, Waugh has been instrumental in launching the University’s Division I football program, and he has extensive experience in working with the city of DeLand, FL in developing athletic facilities for Stetson University, a model he will try and bring to Dalton State.
“After I read through all the résumés, the one I picked out as my number one choice was Derek Waugh,” said Melvyn Ottinger, Dalton Junior College’s original Athletic Director, who retired from the school after 36 years during which time he coached basketball, tennis, and golf and served as head of the physical education program. “I don’t think there is any doubt that he is a perfect fit for this job. I think once he gets here and gets started, that he will really make an impression. He is articulate, educated, and experienced.”
“I am truly flattered to be the Athletic Director at Dalton State… as a native Georgian, it feels like coming home for me. During the interview process, I was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm of the students, staff and the community for the start of four-year intercollegiate athletics at Dalton State. I also know that I will be working with great people who have been extremely warm and supportive,” says Waugh. “I want to honor the past success at the junior college level, embrace the present excitement and prepare for a very successful future with athletics at Dalton State. Whatever the expectations are for the students, alumni and community with regard to athletics, I want to surpass them with enthusiasm, hard work, championships and a lot of fun for everyone involved!”
He will make his home in Whitfield County with his wife, Mary, and their three young children, Sophia, Luke, and Jack.The public is invited to come meet Derek Waugh when he is introduced to the community at a press conference at Dalton State Wednesday, February 1 at 11 a.m.