Derrick Long grew up in Missouri where he earned a bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University and a master's from Missouri State.
Along with his brother, Derrick owned and operated a successful sporting goods store in Missouri. When his brother moved to North Carolina to coach soccer, Derrick transitioned from running the business, and he and his family decided to relocate. Derrick's wife, Kristen, loves the mountains (and he's good "wherever"), so they and their two children moved to Maryville.
Derrick began working with Emerald Youth Foundation in 2012 helping facilitate and coach various sports for the ministry. In 2015, he started managing Emerald Youth's soccer program and operations of the Sansom Sports Complex. Derrick considers his role a total blessing, and says, "Where God guides, he provides."
Derrick believes having a soccer club in the city is a great outlet for urban children. It gives them the chance to acquire a lifetime sport, learn about sportsmanship, failures and successes, and how to work with others to reach a common goal.
Aside from his passion for soccer, Derrick is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan and is addicted to a certain coffee bean made in Peru.