Derek Howard

Assistant Coach
6th Season
McMaster University ‘93

A veteran coach at the high school, college and professional levels of basketball, Derek Howard joined head coach Mike Jeffers staff four seasons ago. He will again assist in all aspects of the program.

In his first season, Howard helped the Cavaliers capture Region VI and District 2 championships, and advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Ill. He also helped mentor Justin Leathers, a 2012 East Jayhawk Conference first team and NJCAA All-Tournament pick, and Quasim Jones, a 2012 NJCAA second-team All-American selection.

In 2013-14 JCCC experienced a season like none other in his career. Before the season began, JCCC lost its starting point guard to a season-ending injury. Other key injuries during the year left the Cavaliers short-handed. The Cavaliers finished 10-21 overall, but were competitive all season. They posted two big wins over Brown Mackie, the eventual region champion, and Highland, the region winner the previous season. The season also saw Christian Hildebrandt become the 11th player in JCCC history to top 1,000 career points (1,026). He also was selected as both an all-conference and all-region performer.

In 2014-15, the Cavaliers saw the emergence of Danzel Wright, who set the freshman scoring record with 665 points, an average of 20.8 per game. He was selected second-team all-conference and first-team all-region.  

In 2015-16, Wight competed his career as one of the most prolific scorers in the program’s history, finishing with 1,256 points, second most in history. He also set new career marks for 3-pointes with 172. Wright was named MVP of the D-II Kansas Jayhawk Conference and named first-team NJCAA All-American.

Last season, Howard help mentor a young a Cavaliers squad into one of the top teams in NJCAA Division II. Johnson County’s roster consisted of 10 freshmen and just two sophomores. That group went on to post a 26-10 record, tying the second-most wins in head coach Mike Jefferson tenure the fourth-most all-time, capture the Region VI Division II title and finish eighth at the NJCAA Division II Tournament in Danville, Ill. The season also saw freshmen guard Anthony Lupardus and Nick Larkin earn selection to both the all-conference and all-region teams. Larkin also received the Jack Custriano Best Small Man Award at the national tournament and was selected the JCCC Male Athlete of the Year.

In his five seasons at Johnson County, Howard has helped the program to an 86-75 record, including two 20-plus win seasons the past two years, a conference title, a conference runner-up finish, a region title and a n eight place finish at the NJCAA Division II Tournament. Individually he has helped coach two NJCAA All-Americans, nine All-Region VI performers, nine All-Kansas Jayhawk Conference performers, two conference MVPs, three NJCAA National Player of the Week recipients and 22 conference player of the week selections.

In addition to his game-day duties as a bench coach for the Cavaliers, Howard also teaches social studies, sociology, psychology and U.S. history at Ray-Pec High School. This is his second year at the high school.

Prior to joining the staff at Ray-Pec, Howard served as head boy’s basketball coach at Winnetonka High School, compiling a 79-73 record in six years. Howard took over as head coach in the fall of 2006, and that season he guided the team to a Suburban Big 6 Conference title, the program’s first title since 1976. The team also captured a District championship and lost in sectionals to Liberty. Howard was named the Suburban Big 6 Coach of the Year that season.

In his six seasons at Winnetonka, Howard mentored All-State players Jarryd Cole, who recently graduated from Iowa, and Preston Oakes who plays at the University of Central Missouri. Four other players from Winnetonka during his tenure have continued their playing careers at the next level.

Before joining the Winnetonka program, Howard also coached high school basketball at Southeast High School in Kansas City, Mo., and at Melbourne Central Catholic in Melbourne, Fla. He coached from 2004-06 at Southeast, compiling a 21-26 record while sending two players on to the next level. He was 54-35 from 1999-02 at MCC, leading the program to two third place finishes in the Catholic State Championships. He also coached All-State player Kevin Goodwin, who went on to Air Force.

Howard served 1994-95 season as an assistant to Jim Jaeger at Belmont Abbey, helping the Crusaders to an 11-15 mark. He also assisted coaching Jeff Brookman, who went on to score over 1,400 career points.

Howard also spent several years coaching in various professional levels of basketball. In 2002, he served as an assistant to Harvey Grant for the Brevard Blue Ducks of the USBL. That season, the Blue Ducks won the Eastern Conference Championship. The following season, Howard took over as head coach and Director of Player Personnel. Howard also has coached the Wilmington Wave Rockers of the XBA and the Kansas City Steers of the NABL. Overall, Howard has compiled a career mark of 45-26 in professional basketball.

Howard also has four years serving as a scouting consultant in the NBA. He served one season for the Toronto Raptors, and three for the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA. Some of players he scouted that were drafted were Matt Bonner to the Raptors, and Gerald Henderson to the Bobcats. He also scouted Marcus Vinicius, a Brazilian player who was drafted by New Orleans.

A graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Howard was impact player for the Marauders. He was one of two freshmen to play in all 29 games in the 1989-90 season, including 11 starts. He was a regular starter over his final three seasons, splitting time between the point and off-guard positions.

Howard averaged 10.7 points as a sophomore and led the team in 3-point accuracy at 44 percent. He also set his career scoring high that year, dropping 25 against Simon Fraser University. As a junior, he averaged 12.5 points and was named the OUA West second-team conference All-Star. Howard average 14.3 points as a senior and was named OUA second-team for a second time. He was the second leading scorer on the McMaster team that advanced to the Canadian National Championship Game, where the Marauders lost in the finals to St. Francis Xavier University.