FLORENCE, S.C. – Derrick McQueen not only was approved to become Wilson High School’s new athletic director tonight at a Florence One Schools board meeting, he also plans to submit his resignation as the Wilson boys’ basketball coach Friday morning.
At athletic director, McQueen replaces Terrence Scriven, who resigned to become athletic director for the Cherokee County School District.
As a coach, McQueen leaves a successful tenure in which he guided the program to a seven-year record of 109-52 and state runner-up finishes in each of the past two seasons. That also includes two lower-state championships and a lower-state runner-up finish in 2017. He's the reigning Morning News Boys' Basketball Coach of the Year.
McQueen talked about plans to search for his replacement on the bench.
“(This morning) we’ll post the boys’ basketball head coaching job," he said. After "three to five days, whatever the minimum is, we’ll hopefully start the interviews next Wednesday or Thursday as a time frame. That’s what we’d like to do. And hopefully by next Friday we’d be pretty close to naming somebody as the head basketball coach to be over the program.”
Whoever steps in McQueen’s place has large shoes to fill.
“I’d assume the job would be a hot commodity. Who would NOT want to be coach at Wilson High School?” McQueen said. “We’re hoping to find the candidate that I feel obviously can continue what we’ve started, to continue to develop the kids, work with the kids and make sure they’re developing the kids totally – not just on the basketball court.”
McQueen said two primary reasons for walking away from a successful coaching career are the challenge of also succeeding at an administrative position and having more time to watch his daughter, Loyal, play college basketball after she graduates from Wilson. Loyal, a rising senior, has verbally committed to sign with Georgia Tech.
McQueen wants to continue the program success that Scriven set.
“We had some success (in boys’ basketball). We hadn’t been able to get over that hump and win a state championship like we had hoped,” McQueen said. “But I do feel overall we’ve done a wonderful job just developing our kids. We’ve had seven years of successful seasons on and off the court and success preparing our kids for post-secondary education and the armed forces.
“Over the last seven years, the tons of positive outcomes with our student-athletes made us very proud, and it made me proud to be a part of those kids’ lives. To step away into the athletic-director position at Wilson is an opportunity to share with the other coaches what we’ve done in our program to be successful. And several of our programs have had a lot of success."
The Wilson girls’ basketball program was state runner-up in 2017 and ’18.
"To be able to share with them and work with our coaches and continue to develop our coaches and our programs is what I’m very interested in – not just to work with boys’ basketball but with every sport.”
McQueen then talked about his hopes to watch Loyal play college basketball as much as possible.
“A lot of Loyal’s games will be on Wednesdays and Sundays,” McQueen said. “So during basketball season on Wednesdays, I’m typically coaching with my kids. And on Sundays we’re typically getting ready for Tuesday games. So that really limited opportunities to spend time watching her play and being a part of what she’s doing.
“And now as the athletic director, on some Sundays I get to be there to support her and what she’s doing at the college level.”
McQueen talked about what he will miss the most about coaching.
“Just the day-to-day grind," he said. "In practice, we used to try to make them harder than the games. I’ll miss the camaraderie, competing against some of the best coaches in the state. And then game day, getting ready and experiencing all the feelings you’d get prior to a game.
“Going to coaching clinics now, I’ll still have the opportunity to go. But I’ll go in just a different role. Whether it’s from their programs or from my programs, I enjoy the feedback. I like to call coaches and share certain things that helped my teams and also receive advice on things we should be doing and trying. Those are things I’ll miss more than anything else.”