Success Is Never Accidental: An Interview with Athletic Director Linda Derk
Head Softball Coach Linda Derk has been with Admiral Farragut Academy since 2009. This school year, she has stepped into the shoes of Athletic Director, a role for which she is well suited, due to both her long history in sports and to her life philosophy, which compliments the school’s slogan, “Success Is Never Accidental”.
Admiral Farragut Academy: What goals do you hope to accomplish for your first year as director? On a longer timeline?
Linda Derk: Our athletic department is faced with the challenges of providing young men and women the opportunity to take part, compete, and achieve in an athletic program that stresses self-esteem, personal pride, and achievement. The structured athletic programs will allow for the student-athletes to learn and grow in these areas. The philosophy of the Athletics Department coincides with the overall philosophy of the school.
We must first, however, understand that the student-athlete is the sole foundation of the department and his/her needs must be considered first. The example we set should be his/her model for honesty, patience, loyalty, citizenship and values.
We will continue to upgrade our facilities, provide quality coaches and programs to enhance our student-athlete development and overall success.
AFA: Explain what “Success Is Never Accidental” means.
LD: Anything of value and meaning takes a well-thought plan and consistent implementation of the plan. It is a process to success. Our slogan #SuccessIsNeverAccidental embodies this. With our positive attitude and positive effort, as a department, we can achieve the next level of success by following the process.
AFA: What are the standards you hold your student-athletes to?
LD: We hold our student-athletes to a high level of accountability and self- discipline. We want a high level of academic success. We want our student-athletes to be good leaders with good character. In addition, we want them to embrace our philosophy with their actions on a daily basis.
AFA: What do you see as the future of Farragut athletics?
LD: I see Farragut athletics within the next 5 years as a state, country and internationally recognized athletic department. Not just with our athletic successes, but our academic successes. Furthermore, a department with the ability to provide an environment that encourages our student-athletes to matriculate to the college level.
AFA: Can you tell me about how you and your coaches act as role models to your student-athletes?
LD: Accountability is a big part of our success. It is important for our department to provide quality coaches that will in turn be great mentors, role models and instructors. We must lead by our positive work ethic and our ability to provide a positive environment for all our student-athletes
AFA: What are the improvements you plan to make to our athletic facilities?
LD: We are in need of upgrading our facilities, providing a better locker room situation for our athletes, in particular our female athletes. We are trying to build showers in the female locker room and move our laundry room to a more accessible and functional location. We are hopeful to upgrade our softball and baseball fields with bleachers and eventually a new locker room. Our gym has an upgraded floor. We are now hopeful we can upgrade the gym locker rooms, padding, and chairs in the next 5 years.
AFA: What is the best way for parents, alumni, and friends of Farragut to help the athletics department?
LD: The Admiral’s Athletics Club is comprised of so many great volunteers. They are consistent in their goals of helping us represent Admiral Farragut Academy in the best way possible. We appreciate all the help they have provided the Athletic Dept. We are always in need of volunteers to help with ticket sales and concession. If you are interested in volunteering please click here to sign up.