By Maurice Patton
It may not be overstatement to call Derek Boyd a godsend for Rick Jarvis and Zion Christian Academy.
Following Tommy Fox’s resignation last month as athletics director, boys basketball coach and softball coach to accept the AD position at Wayne Christian School in Goldsboro, N.C., the search for his successor resulted in Boyd’s hiring this week.
“I just finished my first year at Zion, my first year in the community,” Jarvis said. “I recognize the value of having someone that’s been in the community a long time.
“(Fox) is a big loss, big shoes to fill. … Having Derek express interest answered a lot of prayers for us and for me particularly.”
Boyd, a Mt. Pleasant native who spent 20 seasons as boys basketball coach at his alma mater before retiring at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, has had two children attend Zion – Sam, who graduated this spring after completing his basketball career, and Claire, who will be a freshman this fall and plays volleyball and softball.
“When Tommy announced he was leaving – I’d been contacted several years ago about that job, and I didn’t think I was ready,” the 51-year-old said. “I had a conversation (this time) with Mr. Jarvis and the committee, they expressed some interest, and I also had some interest in what they had to say.
“I thought it was a good fit for me, good timing for me. It’s a new challenge, an administrative role. I felt it might could be a good fit for both parties.”
Boyd, who has continued coaching at both Mt. Pleasant Middle School (boys basketball) and at the high school (cross country, track and field), will possibly have some coaching duties at Zion as they still have boys basketball, girls basketball and softball openings.
“Philosophically, I’d prefer to not have the AD do any coaching,” Jarvis said. “But the first year, the first couple of years, he will most likely end up doing something in the boys basketball program.”
Focusing on his new role will be Boyd’s primary point of concentration, though.
“It’s going to be a challenge to build on what Tommy had left and hopefully take our program to a higher level, even though we know we’re competing in a very difficult division with many great schools already,” he said.
“I felt like this was a great opportunity. It’s something I’ve prayed about and thought about a long time. The parents, the kids, the administration at Mt. Pleasant have been very supportive of me, but going to Zion is almost like a calling. I feel like I’m being guided that way – like if I didn’t take the opportunity, I may regret it later.”
Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @mopatton_sports.