ELLINWOOD — A time-honored tradition in Ellinwood, the Rotary Club Athletic Banquet for high school athletes will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at Ellinwood High School. Rotary Burgers will be served, and the cost is $5. It is open to the public.
The keynote speaker will be Derek Joiner who grew up in Ellinwood. He played sports in Ellinwood and went on to work in various coaching positions at Pittsburg State University and Oklahoma State University. He now has moved back to Ellinwood and is vice president of Joiner Construction.
Joiner works as a volunteer assistant coach currently at Barton Community College.
Joiner attended BCC as a student from 1998-2000 and began his coaching career at St. Joseph School in basketball.
While an athlete in Ellinwood, he played basketball and tennis.
"He has an interesting story to tell," said Richard Kimple, volunteer for the Rotary Club. "He has had some experience with the OSU plane crash."
Kimple added that type of experience gave Joiner "a whole new focus on things." The OSU plane crash occurred in 2001 when one of the three planes carrying staff and basketball players crashed in Colorado, killing all 10 people on board.
"Derek is a heck of a nice kid," he added. "Derek brings an interesting experience from serving in a variety of roles under some true legends in coaching including Gene Iba at Pittsburg State, Eddie Sutton at OSU and James Dickey at the University of Houston."
The topic of Joiner’s talk will be about his experiences as an athlete in Ellinwood, BCC and at the university level, as well as his experiences as a coach. He will also talk about the OSU plane crash.
He has coached 13 All-American or All-Conference players.
Joiner said that he enjoys being a coach because he can have a positive influence on young people and help steer them in the right direction moving forward. He decided to move home to Ellinwood to settle down and raise a family.
In the past, the organization’s speakers for the event have included Ray Evans, Ralph Miller, Phog Allen, Tex Winter, Tad Boyle and others.