CHARLOTTESVILLE — As a swimmer and coach in the Greenfield-Central swimming program under former head coach Tom Moore, Derek McCormick played a pivotal role in the turnaround of the G-C boys program, which has now won four consecutive Hoosier Heritage Conference and sectional championships.
After waiting for the right opportunity to take ahold of his own program, McCormick has found that fit at Eastern Hancock.
McCormick, 24, was recently approved by the EH School Board as the new varsity coach of the high school program. McCormick succeeds Debbie Froman, who retired from coaching after last season.
“My initial goal was to find a program that was kind of started and make it my own. Eastern Hancock popped up and was a perfect fit,” said McCormick, who graduated from IUPUI and will also teach physical education at EH. “My goal is to grow the program as much as I can at the boys and girls high school level, the middle school level and at the elementary level. My long-term goal is to develop a swimming club out there and develop a swim lessons program.”
McCormick graduated from Greenfield-Central in 2008, winning a sectional championship in the 500 freestyle by nearly three seconds his senior year. By the time McCormick returned to Greenfield as a coach in 2010, the Cougar boys – sectional-title less since 1985 – had elevated their placing in the sectional meet from fifth in 2008 and 2009 to second in 2010.
As a swim lesson coordinator, head age group coach for Greenfield Community Aquatic Team and a varsity assistant to Moore, McCormick was instrumental in G-C’s sectional victories in 2011 and 2012.
When Moore left to head the Pike swimming program in May 2012, McCormick followed and became a varsity assistant, the head middle school coach and head age group coach.
Moore believes his understudy is ready for the challenge. The Royals have never won a boys or girls team sectional title.
“Derek is a motivated young coach and he has a blank canvas at Eastern Hancock. I know he will bring success to their swimming program. EH is not much different than Greenfield-Central was when I started in 2004. There is not a developed lesson program, no year-round competitive swimming program and no recent history of success,” Moore said. “Coach McCormick will be successful at EH. It will take some time, but he is too motivated of a coach to fail. I wish him nothing but the best.”
In 2012, Eastern Hancock was able to host home swimming meets for the first time in 20 years after renovating its swimming facilities.
McCormick believes he has the model in place to find success in Charlottesville.
“This is kind of a bittersweet moment to be able to do it with my own program, to be able to mold something of my own. But it’s really about the swimmers creating and establishing their own program,” he said. “I finally found a head coaching opportunity that was a perfect fit for me. I’m hoping I can get something going quickly. I’ve received nothing but excitement from parents and kids so far.”
Education: Greenfield-Central High School; IUPUI
Occupation: High School and Middle School Physical Education at Eastern Hancock; Eastern Hancock High School Swimming Coach
Experience: Sectional champion swimmer at Greenfield-Central; At G-C: Assistant High School Coach, Head Age Group Coach for GCAT, Swim Lesson Coordinator (2010-12); At Pike: Assistant High School Coach, Head Middle School Coach, Head Age Group Coach (2012-14)