Marist School has announced that Derek Waugh, a 1989 Marist graduate, will be the school’s next athletic director.
Waugh will assume his new duties on July 1 upon Tommy Marshall’s retirement. Marshall is retiring after a 25-year tenure during which Marist’s athletic program became nationally ranked, acclaimed for its sportsmanship and teamwork, and renowned for all-around excellence in state titles won and college athletes produced.
Waugh will take the helm of an athletic program that provides students with opportunities to practice their faith and develop personal character and servant leadership skills while striving for athletic excellence in self and in competition. Noteworthy for its accomplished, mission-driven faculty and community coaches, Marist’s athletic program cultivates school spirit across campus. Additionally, the program demonstrates the Marist value of hospitality when welcoming guests and visitors to campus for athletic events.
“We are tremendously excited for Derek to return to his Marist roots to advance our school’s legacy of athletic excellence,” said Kevin Mullally, Marist School principal and head of the athletic director search committee. “With his experience and vision, he will undoubtedly build upon the strong foundation established by Tommy Marshall and shape Marist’s athletic program for years to come.”
Waugh brings a wealth of experience to his new role. Currently, he works in business development for BSN Sports after serving as president and CEO of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame from 2016-2017. As the athletic director of the University System of Georgia’s Dalton State College from 2012-2016, Waugh created and managed Dalton’s intercollegiate athletic program. He was named athletic director of the year in 2016 by the Southern States Athletic Conference. Previously, he was assistant athletic director at Stetson University from 2011-2012 after serving as Stetson’s head men’s basketball coach for 11 years. In 2000, when he stepped into the head coach position at the age of 29, he was the youngest Division 1 college basketball coach in the country. Prior to his professional career in athletics, Waugh worked as an attorney at Schreeder, Wheeler & Flint, where he specialized in corporate and securities law. He also helped found and direct the Ron Bell Basketball Camp, which was held on Marist School’s campus from 1988-1994.
“My family and I are thrilled about this amazing opportunity. I want to thank Kevin Mullally, Father Rowland, and the hiring committee for this amazing honor. Marist helped shape my entire life, and I am extremely excited to be returning to the school. In my opinion, Marist is the finest institution in the state of Georgia with an athletic program that is legendary,” said Waugh. “I will benefit greatly from the men and women who have come before me, including Tommy Marshall and former athletic directors Dean Hargis and Steve Franks, and will truly be standing on the shoulders of giants. I am humbled. God has blessed me beyond belief, and my only regret is that Ron Bell, Jerry Queen, and Father Hartnett are not alive to celebrate with me. I know they are smiling down, however, and our work at Marist will honor our past, treasure our present, and look towards an amazing future of changing young people’s lives. Go War Eagles!”
Waugh holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University and a juris doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law. At Furman, he was named the university’s first basketball Academic All-American in 1993. He received Furman’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award in 2001. He currently serves as an elected member of the Dalton City Council.
“Marist athletics will be in very capable hands with Derek,” said Tommy Marshall, Marist’s current athletic director. “Serving young people through athletics is a mission that God called me to a long time ago. I feel unbelievably fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve at Marist School, and I know Derek will be equally blessed by the coaches, administration, and parents who join together to form Marist’s scholar-athletes spiritually, mentally, and physically.”
Tommy Marshall, who retires on June 30, made an indelible mark on Marist athletics. He will continue serving Georgia’s young athletes as interscholastic commissioner for the Georgia Independent School Association.