Derby head football coach Brandon Clark was comfortable leaving his team in the hands of his assistants for a week to go coach the West squad to a victory in the Kansas Shrine Bowl in late July.
Even with a summer packed full of organized workouts, and less than a month before the start of a season with so much promise and potential, Clark was not worried about his staff overseeing Derby’s intense summer schedule.
“We work well together,” Clark said. “Most of these guys have been here for a long time with me. They know the way I run things. That trust has been formed throughout the years here. They know what we expect out of the kids.”
Most of the coaching staff for Derby football has remained intact since Clark took over as head coach of the team seven years ago. Clark said his staff shares his passion for winning and high-energy coaching style.
“Our coaches have embraced the win-the-day mentality,” Clark said. “We don’t waste any time. That goes from coaches’ meetings to practice. We are going to get something out of everything that we do, whether that’s working with second-grade kids at a camp or with the varsity kids at practice. We are going to get something out of each and every moment.”
In his fourth season as an assistant, Caleb Smith will move over to defensive coordinator.
“He pretty much runs our defense,” Clark said. “He has a lot of knowledge about football. He grew up around it with his dad being a high school football coach.”
Cade Armstrong and Kevin Davis will also help out on defense. Both coached football at Derby Middle School at one time. Armstrong will continue coaching the linebackers, while Davis will focus on the defensive line.
“Both are high-energy guys,” Clark said. “They both bring a lot of intensity.”
Shelby Wehrman will also coach the defensive line, and like Clark, played football at Kansas State University.
Chris Devore, who played under K-State head football coach Bill Snyder with Clark as well, will coach receivers and will be the special teams coordinator.
“He’s a great football-minded coach,” Clark said. “He is another guy who really understands football.”
Longtime assistant Todd Olmstead will continue working with the running backs, while Devin Tarrant coaches the quarterbacks and acts as the freshman head coach.
“(Tarrant) connects with our quarterbacks well,” Clark said. “I’m pretty high-energy and intense. Devin’s the guy who sits back and talks with the quarterbacks and calms them down.”
Eric Hendrick returned for his second year with Derby as a defensive backs coach. Derby has also added another defensive backs coach, hiring Justin Williams this past Friday.
“Eric understands the game and he’s very passionate about Derby football,” Clark said. “Justin adds a lot of youth to the team.”
Williams is not the only new addition to the staff this year. Chris Pinaire, who also coached football at Derby Middle School, replaced James McDaniel as offensive line coach. McDaniel left Derby over the summer to take a vacant head coaching job at Trinity Academy.
“He’s a very passionate and intense coach,” Clark said. “That’ll be good for our offensive linemen to have. Coach McDaniel was a little more laid back. Chris will bring back some intensity to the line.”