Marist School is turning to a former War Eagle star athlete to replace Tommy Marshall, its longtime athletic director.

In a March 29 news release, the school announced it’s named Derek Waugh, a 1989 graduate and member of the school’s boys’ basketball state championship team that year, as the new athletic director. Waugh, who also played baseball at Marist, will start July 1, a day after Marshall retires to cap a 25-year tenure as athletic director.

During that time, Marist “became nationally ranked, acclaimed for its sportsmanship and teamwork and renowned for all-around excellence in state titles won and college athletes produced,” the release stated.

Waugh currently works in business development for BSN Sports, a Dallas, Texas-based company that distributes uniforms, equipment and other sports apparel, and he served as president and CEO of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon in 2016 and 2017.

Waugh was the athletic director of Dalton State College in Dalton from 2012-16, and was named athletic director of the year in 2016 by the Southern States Athletic Conference. He also served as the assistant athletic director at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, in 2011-12 after being the college’s head men’s basketball coach for 11 years.

“We are tremendously excited for Derek to return to his Marist roots to advance our school’s legacy of athletic excellence,” Kevin Mullally, Marist’s principal and head of the athletic director search committee, said in the release. “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 said he’s excited to return to Marist’s campus, where he helped found and direct the Ron Bell Basketball Camp, which was at Marist from 1988-94.

“My family and I are thrilled about this amazing opportunity,” he said in the release. “I want to thank Kevin Mullally, Father (Bill) 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.

“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, and God has blessed me beyond belief. 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 doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. Before getting into coaching/athletics, he worked as an attorney at Schreeder, Wheeler & Flint, specializing in corporate and securities law. Waugh lives in Dalton, where he’s the Ward 1 member of the Dalton City Council.

“Marist athletics will be in very capable hands with Derek,” Marshall said in the release. “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.”

Though Marshall is retiring from Marist, he will serve as interscholastic commissioner for the Georgia Independent School Association.

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