Mickey Derrick sat next to his wife, Corliss, as different people got up to speak on his behalf.
The longtime Columbia County coach was recently inducted into the Greenbrier High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Derrick gave his wife of 40 years credit for encouraging him through the years.
"She is by far the best coaching wife in the world," he said. "I learned a long time ago there are two things I could be when I got married. I could be right or I could be happy. I chose happy."
Derrick was the lone inductee selected by Greenbrier in the second year of its Hall of Fame class. He is the school's winningest football coach, serving for seven years. He worked as the school's athletic director.
"I'm so thankful for the Greenbrier family," Derrick said. "This was not expected, but it's very much appreciated."
Derrick graduated from North Augusta High School and then Clemson. He started coaching at Jackson Junior High and High School.
He eventually established himself in Columbia County as an assistant football and baseball coach at Evans High School. In 1996, he moved with his friend, Terry Holder, to Greenbrier. Derrick became the school's head football coach in 1999. He holds the school record for most wins (32) and is the last coach to lead the Wolfpack to the playoffs (2003).
Derrick later coached at Evans and Grovetown, retiring after 38 years coaching in Columbia County. He then spent two years helping football coach Russ Schneider at Fox Creek before stepping down for good.
As for the Hall of Fame induction, Derrick thanked many people for support through the years. He thanked his uncles who stood with him when his dad left, his pastor, his coaches and his father-in-law.
"I had so many good men mentors," he said, "it would've been hard for me to go a different way."
Despite being retired, the 63-year-old Derrick stays active. Every morning, he meets a small group of friends at 8:30 at Waffle House.
"There's all kind of lies going on there," he said. Afterward, he goes for a walk. Derrick then takes an afternoon nap. Later, he consults with his wife.
"I ask if there's anything I can do for her," he said.