06/22/12 — Derrick Minor named new PHS football coach

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Derrick Minor named new PHS football coach

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 22, 2012 1:48 PM

A high-energy individual who loves high school football in small-town settings, Derrick Minor is ready to embrace the challenge that awaits him as the new head coach at Princeton High School.

And he's certainly not among those who believe that it's almost impossible to win consistently at the Carolina 1-A Conference school which has posted just one winning campaign since 2000.

"I grew up in a rural area in Alamance County and this kind of reminds me of that area," Minor said. "It feels like home ... is what drew me here to Princeton. I want to grow my family in a supportive community and Princeton has a good academic record in the classroom.

"It's a place where you want to raise your family."

Minor succeeds Russell Williamson, who spent two coaching stints at Princeton before retiring in May. Williamson guided the Dawgs to six consecutive appearances in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, including an eastern semifinal-round trip in 2010 when the Dawgs won 10 games.

PHS principal Kirk Denning and athletics director Marty Gurganus worked with a short list of coaching candidates and wanted to fill the position before the end of June. Each felt Minor was the right fit.

"We're very excited," Denning said. "We like his work ethic, his values and the things he has talked to us about. He's coming in with a new vision."

A Gibsonville native, Minor spent the previous three seasons as running backs coach, JV offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator at Southeast Guilford. He served as the assistant offensive coordinator and defensive backs assistant coach at Southern Alamance from 2009-10.

Minor started his coaching career at Graham in 2005 and organized a youth football camp through the Graham Recreation Department for elementary students. He shared his knowledge of football with the boys, but also stressed the importance of making good decisions in life and staying in school.

He envisions endorsing that same philosophy at Princeton.

"I want to establish relationships with the players and their families, and the community," Minor said. "The work ethic is the bottom line ... getting out there and working hard, doing your best no matter the result of the game as long as you give it your all.

"Plus, getting the guys to buy into the program and our vision."

Princeton finished 4-8 overall last season and advanced to the second round of the NCHSAA playoffs. The senior-rich Dawgs are projected to return 16 lettermen, including 11 starters -- five on offense and six on defense.

Minor has experience working with spread offenses and the misdirection Wing-T scheme. He likes the traditional 4-3 defense and understands that personnel will determine what kind of team he puts on the field under the lights on Friday night.

"I want a team that plays whistle to whistle, that has high character and a true love for each other on the field," Minor said.