SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State head coach Bunky Harkleroad has announced the addition of Derrick Florence to his coaching staff. Florence was the head girls' varsity basketball coach at Centennial High School in Compton for six seasons before serving as an assistant coach at Cal State L.A. last year.
"I think Derrick will be a good fit for our program because he has a solid background in education, as a teacher, and in coaching," Harkleroad said. "He's coached at the high school level and there you have to teach, and that's important to us and how we do things here. Derrick will also have some California connections in terms of recruiting and will open up some networks for us in Southern California. He will be a good recruiter for us, he will be a good teacher on the court in our skill development sessions, and will be a nice asset for our program."
Florence has 11 years of basketball coaching experience, serving as a club coach and an instructor at various elite camps in addition to his high school and collegiate experience. He has also been a teacher and substitute teacher in the Compton Unified School District since 1997.
"I'm excited to be a part of what Coach Harkleroad is trying to do and learning his philosophy," Florence said. "With his vision it's really exciting to be a part of the program and the direction that it is headed. As a basketball coach to be surrounded by Coach Harkleroad and his philosophy as well as Coach Baxter with his experience and Coach Stephens its going to open up things for me in terms of learning and growing as a basketball coach as well as a person."
Florence helped Cal State L.A. to a 21-11 overall record and a 14-8 mark in the Div. II California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) last season. He assisted in practices, conditioning, and competition while creating statistical-driven scouting reports and helping develop the squad's post players.
In six years as the varsity head coach at Centennial High School Florence improved overall academic and athletic performance significantly. He dramatically increased the program's overall winning percentage, academic grade point averages, and the number of girls both applying to and entering college.
Florence founded Changing Perceptions Together (C.P.T), which is a youth basketball organization targeted at inner city, underprivileged girls, particularly within the Compton Unified School District area. He has also served as an AAU coach, a camp instructor at the Mickael Pietrus Basketball Camp in France, and as an instructor in camps at Cal and UC Santa Barbara
Florence earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Morehouse College and gained his Master's degree in education policy and management from Harvard.