Derrick Slater Named Boys Varsity Basketball Interim-Head Coach

Boys basketball gains a new head coach as the 2023-24 season begins.
Coach Slate with members of the varsity boys basketball team after being named interim Head Coach for the 2023-24 season.
Coach Slate with members of the varsity boys basketball team after being named interim Head Coach for the 2023-24 season.
Courtesy of Derrick Slater

Following the resignation of Cliff Berinobis, the school district was in search to replace the position. On October 26 2023, Derrick Slater or ‘Coach Slate’ was announced as the new Head Coach for the boys varsity basketball team. 

Though he is taking on a new position for the 2023-24 season, Slater is not a new face to the basketball team. Slater was formally the Head Coach of the boys sophomore basketball team before moving to being an Assistant Coach for boys varsity basketball team during the 2022-23 season. 

I know I have big shoes to fill But i’m ready for the challenge. Coach Berinobis is the greatest coach I’ve ever been around. The knowledge I’ve learned from him, you can’t put a price tag on. I’ll be forever grateful for my time assisting him.

— Derrick Slater

Upon hearing the news, Slater shares the pride and honor he feels. “Words really can’t describe how it felt. But it felt like my loyalty and commitment to the West high basketball program for the past 7 years was being acknowledged and appreciated. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity,” he shares. 

Alongside Coach Slate, former assistant coach Jonah Woodward is returning to his coaching position this year.

“My plan is business as usual,” Slater says as he talks about his plans for the upcoming season. As his position is interim- meaning not a permanent role, Slater is hoping that this season will earn him the long term title as a Head Coach. 

Junior Joseph Hudson shares that he believes Slater is a good fit for the role, “He has been around us since I got to West and he knows the way we play already,” he says. Hudson hopes that the entirety of the coaching staff takes their time in making the team as good as they can be for the upcoming season. 

Slater notes the positive reactions he received from the athletes and coaches as he was named Head Coach. “ I think everyone was just relieved to know who the next coach was gonna be and also excited to know that there wouldn’t be any dramatic changes,” he says. 

For the upcoming basketball season, Slater shares his hopes for the athletes inside and outside of the gym, “My main goal is to build leaders on and off the court. I want to represent a team with excellent sportsmanship and character. I want to teach the importance of students first then athletes,” Slater says. “I don’t think there’s really nothing to change,” he adds.

Hudson shares that his hopes for this season is to personally grow as a leader and athlete but as a team to improve from last season and to “hopefully take a trip down to Wells Fargo,” he says. 

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About the Contributor
Ali Parkhurst, News and Sports Editor; Yearbook Editor-In-Chief
(she/her) Ali Parkhurst is a senior at West High. This is her second year as a Wahawk Insider staff member, Parkhurst is also the Editor-In-Chief for the Wahawk Yearbook. Outside of school, Parkhurst is a varsity cheerleader and a server at Doughy Joeys. Parkhurst enjoys photography, running, and spending time with her friends.
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