Derrell Oliver Makes History As First Black Athletic Director in Texas School District History

Spring Independent School District (ISD) in north Harris County, Texas, has named Interim Athletic Director Derrell Oliver as its new official Director of Athletics, making Oliver the first Black AD in the district’s history.

​​“I am so excited to take on this role – not only in leading a phenomenal coaching and athletic staff, but in gaining the opportunity to positively impact students and families,” Oliver said on the ISD news blog. “Our athletic programs have a direct impact on developing successful young men and women, and I am so fortunate to be in a position to help lead that work.”

Oliver began his career as the ninth-grade coordinator and head football coach at Richardson Junior High in Richardson, Texas, in 2004. He went on in Richardson to serve in roles as Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, Head Football Coach, Head Track/Cross Country Coach, Head Golf Coach, and Assistant Head Baseball Coach. 

He has over 20 years of experience and leadership in youth athletics. As a head coach, Oliver has secured three District championships, one Area championship, two coach of the year awards, five consecutive Regional finals appearances, and three trips to State across multiple sports. 

“The biggest thing for me is the overall student-athlete experience,” he said. “I want student-athletes to leave here, and I want them to be able to say that it was a great foundation for them for whatever is in their future. Because the things we teach them, that is what is going to propel them to achieving their life goals.”

Oliver studied engineering at Prairie View A&M University. In addition to coaching and working with students, he has spent over a decade in corporate leadership roles at Hewlett-Packard and NASA in Houston.

“One thing that I hope that I bring to the table is innovation and creativity,” Oliver said. “We already have extremely successful programs, but what do we need to do to propel those programs to a different level? I think that’s where the analytical side, the engineering side of me, comes into play.”

In his new historical role as Athletic Director, Oliver hopes to leave a positive impact on all the students he coaches and be an inspiration for what they can one day achieve. 

“I don’t look at it as me being a trailblazer or anything like that,” he said. “I happen to be the one that was blessed in that role. But if I can inspire even one kid to think – hey, maybe one day – that would be the ultimate outcome for me.” 

Cover photo: Derrell Oliver Makes History As First Black Athletic Director in Texas School District History / Photo credit: Spring ISD blog

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