Stone Memorial High School announced today that Coach Derik Samber will be the new head football coach for the Panthers. Samber replaces Mark Wattenbarger, who stepped down to accept a head-coach position at Sequatchie County High School.
Samber grew up in Crossville and attended North Cumberland Elementary School until 2000. He is a 2006 graduate of York Institute in Jamestown, Tennessee. Upon his graduation, he attended Tennessee Technological University to earn his degree in Secondary Education. He began his coaching career at Upperman High School in 2010. During his time as the Offensive Coordinator the Bees Offense set many state records for production, including the 8th-most points scored in a single season in TSSAA history (686 points) and set the TSSAA record for yards of offense in a single game (733 yards).
After four years at Upperman, he returned to his alma mater to be the offensive coordinator for one year before taking over as head coach for two years. During his time at the helm of York Institute, the Dragons took their first victory over Livingston Academy since 2008 and the first victory over Smith County since 2009. The Dragons also won the 2016 CAREacter Bowl over Oliver Springs, 43 to 6.
Samber then was hired as offensive coordinator at Cookeville High School. During his lone season at Cookeville, the Cavaliers set the school’s records for the most points scored (449 points), most total offense (4749 yards), most passing yards (1754 yards) and most passing touchdowns (22). During this season, the Cavaliers were 6A State quarterfinalists as they secured their first victory over Blackman High School and their largest victory over a Rutherford County school in defeating Riverdale High School (56-17) in the second round of the playoffs.
Samber is a C1 Certified Quarterback Coach for the National Football Academies. He lives in Crossville with his wife, Alex, where they have been attending Cumberland Fellowship Church since 2017.