Contact: Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401
Derrick Coleman, a Detroit businessman, former NBA star and DPS graduate, has been named Detroit Public Schools’ new Commissioner of Athletics.
“Detroit Public Schools’ has a storied sports history, with some of the world’s greatest athletes graduating from our schools,” said Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb.
“But some schools’ sports programs have suffered from a lack of funding and equipment and poor management,” Bobb said. “Yet we know that extra-curricular activities, like sports, are critical to keeping many students in school and helping them graduate. Having Derrick Coleman join our team with a plan to shore up those programs is exactly what the system and its students need.”
Coleman, an alum of DPS’ Northern High School who attended Syracuse University, spent 15 years in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76′ers, Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons. He won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 1991 and made the NBA All-Star Team in 1994. In 1996, he won a Gold Medal when he played on the Olympic Dream Team.
“I am thrilled to be taking this position,” said Coleman. “The bottom line is that I know personally the tremendous impact that sports participation can have on a young person. Sports teach discipline, camaraderie, dedication, accountability and teamwork.”
Coleman said his first tasks include assessing the school system’s needs and creating a plan to grow DPS’ sports programs and recruit more students to participate.
Coleman credits what he learned in sports with helping him be successful in life. He is the founder of Derrick Coleman Enterprises, a privately held corporation that operates a diverse portfolio of companies, including Hungry Howie’s and Tim Hortons franchises.
Coleman also founded the Derrick Coleman Foundation (DCF), a Michigan 501(c) (3) non-profit whose mission is to advance the development of Detroit’s youth and empower their families through educational, health and recreational programs/events. The foundation has been an underwriter for the Pretty in Pink, Breast Cancer Awareness dinner. The foundation has also contributed funds to build a new basketball court for Hutchinson School, where Coleman played basketball as a youth. For the last eight years, DCF has operated an annual summer basketball program for 200 boys and girls, age 9-14 years old.