News Opinion Sports Videos Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Events Search/Archive Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Calendar Contact Us Advertisements Search/Archive Public Notices

Wallace steps down

He served 16 years at the helm of ACHS hoops

After 16 years as ‘the boss’ of Anderson County boys basketball — which includes 263 wins — Derek Wallace is stepping down. (photo:Ken Leinart )
After 16 years and 263 wins, Derek Wallace has decided to quit as head coach of the Anderson County Mavericks basketball program.

“I’ve been doing it [coaching] 25 years, 24 at Anderson County,” Wallace said. “The last couple of years … My daughter is getting older and I didn’t coach her in basketball in the Norris league this year just because I felt like I had a lot on my plate. I just got the tug to want to spend more time with my family, and 25 years is a long time, too.”

He began his career with the Mavs basketball program 24 years ago, spending the first eight years as an assistant to former head Coach Mark Eldridge.

“I never wanted to be a coach where people wondered if they hung on too long or were in it for the wrong reasons,” Wallace said. “To me, it was always about the kids. I always wanted to leave it in a good position. We’re getting a new floor this year and new bleachers. We’ve got a great locker room, great kids coming back, and one of the best eighth-grade groups we’ve had in a long time. I felt like this would be as good a time as ever to just have a clean split and not have too many regrets.

“And I never want to do wrong by the kids because I really do care about the program,” he said. “I watched all of these kids grow up in my camps and play AAU for me. I never wanted to feel like my heart was somewhere else.”

He also acknowledged that he is curious to see how much he will miss the game in six months as the new season approaches.

“Coach Wallace has had a huge impact at our school not only as a coach but as an exceptional AP teacher,” said principal Ben Downs and athletic director Gary Terry in a joint statement.

“We appreciate all that he has done while leading our boys’ basketball program in a first-class manner.”