BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/NEMCC Athletics) - The Northeast Mississippi Community College men's golf team will be in the capable hands of a successful alumnus when it returns to action one year from now.
Derek DeVaughn has been selected as the eighth head golf coach in program history. His duties begin immediately with the initial signing date for the high school senior class of 2019 upcoming in November.
"We are pleased to announce Derek as our new golf coach," said Northeast president Ricky Ford. "Coach DeVaughn brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide outstanding instruction and mentorship to our collegiate golfers."
DeVaughn is in charge of resurrecting a program with a lot of tradition. The Tigers boast two region titles, four All-Americans and 12 players that qualified for the national tournament as individuals.
"It's very personal to me," DeVaughn said. "I've been around this college pretty much all my life. I love this college and what it means to the community. I'm just looking forward to getting some players in and getting started.
"We have a lot of golfers in this area that needs that next opportunity to be able to perform. It's great to offer this to our area players. I appreciate the support that we've already got. I can't wait to get started. It's super exciting for me."
DeVaughn knows first-hand about Northeast's past achievements on the links. He was a member of the Tigers' back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 championship teams from 2007-08.
The Marietta native quickly made an impact by securing all-tournament recognition at Northeast's second event of the 2007 season at Hinds Community College's Eagle Ridge Golf Club.
DeVaughn was a key piece to coach Craig Lauderdale's five-man lineup during his inaugural campaign on the Booneville campus. Among his regular season scores was a two-day total of 157 at Mallard Pointe Golf Course in Sardis.
He pieced together a solid scorecard of 86-82--168 to help the Tigers capture their first-ever regional crown in school history at Copiah-Lincoln Community College's Wolf Hollow Golf Club.
Northeast advanced to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club in New York and placed 11th overall. The Tigers rose to as high as No. 3 in the national rankings during DeVaughn's freshman year.
DeVaughn became one of Northeast's top leaders on the course as a sophomore. He finished fifth in the individual standings at the fourth Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) tour stop of the regular season at Co-Lin to earn all-tournament honors.
He later posted a cumulative score of 166 to lift the Tigers to their second straight NJCAA Region 23 championship at Forest Country Club and secure another trip to Jamestown, N.Y., for the national tournament.
DeVaughn, who was named to the NJCAA All-Region 23 team in 2008, was recognized as the most dedicated golfer during both of his campaigns at Northeast. He also received the prestigious Tiger Award in 2008 for his good standing both on and off the field of competition.
"It means a lot to get the program back," said DeVaughn. "I'd love to win another championship. We have a lot of kids that could possibly be All-Americans that are in this area. I can't wait to bring these recruits in and get them fired up."
DeVaughn, who graduated from nearby New Site High School, is an industrial maintenance technology instructor at Northeast as well. He is married to Misty and the couple has two sons, Webb and Will.