TERRELL, Texas — Terrell ISD continues the celebration of Black History Month with a Terrell Tiger that was gone from our world too soon.
Bernard Derrick was born and raised in Terrell and was the oldest of six children and the son of Vallie Marie Derrick. He is the brother of current TISD School Board of Trustee, Tonya Derrick. Derrick was a naturally gifted athlete who excelled in all sports and regularly received recognition for his outstanding talent on the baseball and football fields. During his time on the Terrell High School football team, Derrick had great success as the quarterback for the JV football team. His passion and commitment drove him to work towards becoming the starting quarterback for the varsity team by his senior year.
On September 7, 1977, during his junior year, Derrick and his teammates were outside practicing on an unfavorably stormy day, and he was struck by lightning. Derrick was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. Bernard’s death received attention from many school districts, teams, college programs, and sports professionals.
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding his death had an immediate impact on many local, state, and national high school and college athletic programs to improve their severe weather policies and procedures.
The Bernard Derrick Multipurpose Center, which was dedicated to him in Fall 2021, pays tribute to his legacy, and ensures that all Terrell student athletes have a safe indoor practice facility.