Derryk Sellers is entering the next chapter of his life.
After being a leader in athletics in South Jersey for nearly three decades, the 55-year-old Sicklerville resident has been appointed deputy director of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Sellers said. “It’s like that scene from the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’ where Morgan Freeman’s character gets on the bus, he’s heading to a place he’s never been, but he feels like it’s something wonderful to to come.
“I will have a myriad of new responsibilities. I must be like water, you must find your way.
Sellers admitted that the past year was anything but smooth sailing for high school athletics and leadership that had to navigate a global pandemic.
“We have all learned to adjust ourselves every day,” he said.
The NJSIAA made the vendor announcement on Monday.
“We are delighted that Derryk is joining the NJSIAA team,” NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire said in a press release. “As an educator, coach and athletic director with three decades of experience, Derryk’s experience will give our office a new perspective. He will bring exceptional knowledge and skills to the position and, more importantly, he has a huge passion for interschool athletics.
Sellers has been on the standard of leadership throughout his career, including the past 21 years as athletic director at Lindenwold High School. He also coached football at Lindenwold, Edgewood (now Winslow Twp.) And Cumberland. Prior to his work as an administrator, Sellers was a special education teacher.
“It was a tough decision to leave Lindenwold,” Sellers said. “I didn’t think I would stay that long when I got there, but I was able to be part of the fabric of this school and this community. “
Sellers also resigned as president of the West Jersey Football League, a post he held for three years.
“It was really tough,” said Sellers, who informed the WJFL of their decision last week. “It became emotional for me, it was like a punch because it was a job that I loved so much. Working with coaches from our league and other conferences, talking to different people, setting the schedules, it was all fun for me. It was a challenge, but it was a fun challenge.
Sellers was also a member of the executive committee of the South Jersey Coaches Association.
His new job doesn’t mean Sellers will be a stranger on the sidelines, especially on his beloved Friday nights in the fall.
“Now I’m going to be able to travel all over this great state of New Jersey,” Sellers said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The NJSIAA lost two assistant directors for various reasons at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Jack DuBois, who supervised football for the association, has retired. Bill Bruno, who supervised track and field, cross country and gymnastics, died on June 19, 10 days after stepping down.
Tom McGurk is a regional sports reporter for the Courier-Post, the Daily Journal and the Burlington County Times, covering South Jersey sports for over 30 years. If you have a sports story to tell, contact him at (856) 486-2420 or by email [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @McGurkSports. Help support local journalism with a digital subscription.