Little Rock peewee football coach finds calling, impacts lives for a decade


Derrick McDonald dedicates every fall to a cause bigger than football.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Derrick McDonald has found his “dream job.” He’s pulled to it not thanks to self-interest, but the kids he can touch.

A former player at Mills High School, McDonald has voluntarily coached flag and tackle teams on the Arkansas Cardinals since 2011. In his first practice at 23 years old while helping his older cousin with water, he “got chill bumps and found life there.” The Little Rock native later took over the program in 2016.

McDonald’s excitement for the game has rubbed off on fellow coaches, passing along a passion for mentorship to those who think of him now as one of the more admirable men they’ve ever met. Together, they invest over six hours a week for practices and more on game days. The goal is winning peewee Super Bowls, but more importantly “getting these kids on the right track” in life.

Nick Walters stops by practice at a local middle school to hear why every hot weekday evening or cold weekend morning McDonald dedicates to the kids is worth it. Find more info on their team’s Facebook page.

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