Stillwater News Press

April 7, 2014

Stillwater assistant basketball coach Verner rewarded for hard work

By Ron Holt
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Years of hard work and commitment have paid off for Stillwater High assistant boys’ basketball coach Derrick Verner.

Verner, a familiar figure on the Pioneer sideline during the tenure of SHS Head Coach Michael Davis, was recently named the Large East Head Coach on the 2014 All-State Boys Basketball Team.

Verner will be joined on the Large East staff by Ron Anderson, a former Lady Pioneer assistant under Rhonda Fields, who is the head boys’ coach at Ada High.

The selections were announced recently when the Oklahoma Coaches Association announced its’ large school and small school all-state teams.

The Large East boys will play the Large West in the All-State Game Thursday, July 31, at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center in Tulsa.

“I got a letter in the mail telling me I had been selected as the Large East head coach and at first I was nervous and excited,” Verner said. “It took a while for it to sink in. But, it’s something I really appreciate. To be recognized by the coaches in your area for doing a good job is an honor.

“It’ll be fun. I’m really excited about it now. There are a lot of good players on the Large East. It’ll be a challenge coaching guys who are athletic and have some size,” he added. “I’m looking forward to it.”

He will also have the opportunity to coach Pioneer All-Stater Carson Teel, the 5-11 guard who led SHS in scoring last season averaging 19.2 points per game.

“After I accepted I was excited but then Coach Davis told me I would get to coach Carson Teel in his last basketball game and that was the cherry on top,” Verner added.

Verner was nominated for the honor by Coach Davis, who was the Large East All-State Coach in 2007 and a member of the all-state selection committee, and Pioneer wrestling coach Doug Chesbro.

“I think sometimes people don’t get the praise they deserve and I know that any success we’ve had in our program Derrick has been a big part of that,” Coach Davis said. “He’s a Stillwater boy who is a genuine, caring guy who cares about doing the best job he can.”

Verner, who displayed impressive leaping ability as a player, graduated from SHS in 1990 and played three varsity seasons on outstanding Pioneer basketball teams.

He and older brother Charles were key contributors on the 1988-89 SHS team, coached by Jerry Havens, who was an All-State Coach in 1976.That Pioneer squad won a Frontier Conference championship, qualified for the state tournament and ended with a 21-7 record.

After high school, Verner attended Langston University, where he played basketball and earned a bachelor’s of science in health, physical education and recreation degree.

Verner has also served SHS in a security/parking administrator post in recent years.