Bertie names new basketball coach

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, August 9, 2016

WINDSOR – Derrick Bond has come home.

Bond was approved by the Bertie County Board of Education last week as the new boy’s basketball coach and Business Education teacher. He replaces Hamilton Doyle who left the post after one season.

Bond traces his Bertie roots to the time he attended the old Southwestern Middle School before later graduating from Williamston High School, where he played basketball under Coach Steve Gilmore on the 1995 Tigers team that finished as 1A state runner-up to Siler City Jordan-Matthews. Bond played collegiately at Mt. Olive College before transferring to Lees-McRae in Banner Elk, where an injury cut short his playing career.

Entering coaching, Bond made his name at independent Flora Macdonald Academy in Robeson County beginning in 2008. He would eventually win an NC Independent Schools state championship in 2012 before leaving in 2014. 25 of his players were voted All-State, with 32 players signing to play for NCAA Division-I colleges.

Derrick Bond is the new boy’s basketball coach at Bertie High School. | Staff Photo / Gene Motley

Derrick Bond is the new boy’s basketball coach at Bertie High School. | Staff Photo / Gene Motley

His last coaching stop was at Liberty High in Bedford, VA – located between Roanoke and Lynchburg.

“It’s an exciting time, when you talk about everything this is one of the top-five things that’s happened to me in my life and I’m proud to be the head coach at Bertie High School,” Bond said in an interview.

Bond cited the tradition of success with Bertie basketball and said he hoped to build on that in his time in Windsor.

“You embrace it,” Bond acknowledged, “then you prepare yourself and build on what you already know. I want the kids to take life in and ask themselves what I can do to make Bertie better. I plan to make Bertie the number-one school in the state.

“It starts with your players and from there you build strong,” he continued. “You take care first with our area, and from there, our region, and then you move on up to the state; before you know it you’re the best team in the country.”

The Falcons lost seven seniors off a 15-11 squad that finished third in the 2A Northeastern Coastal Conference race and bowed out in the second round of the playoffs. Bond admits he hasn’t met with his student-athletes yet, but feels he brings a winning formula, and a philosophy that traditionally fits Bertie’s style.

“I know what I can do, and I know what I can teach,” he says with a laugh. “I want us to be able to execute in transition at a high level; but when you get to the playoffs, you have to be able to execute in the half-court. We want to push the tempo with pressing, trapping, and switching defenses. We’re not married to anything. Even the best coaches, whether they’re Coach K or Jim Boeheim, always evolve and try something different. I want the kids to learn, adjust, and grow.

Additionally, Bond says he wants to re-ignite the fan base.

“The best form of advertising is word-of-mouth,” he said. “I think after the first game there’s going to be intrigue and that will spark interest. We will believe in playing winning basketball and that translates at any level. In this case it means playing at a higher level than they did last year, and look forward to the challenge of playing at this level.”

Bond says while he wants to establish winning, his players will also have to get it done in the classroom.

“That part is non-negotiable,” he conceded. “You can’t go through life; you can’t go through college without it. I want them giving their best and telling me they tried hard. I respect that and I’ll do everything I can to help them become better citizens; but academics is something I’ll always push for.”