Clyde C. Miller football coach dies days after hit ‘n run crash

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ST. LOUIS – A young St. Louis man who touched many lives is being remembered by the high school students he coached.

Derrick Mitchell Jr. was the offensive football coach at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy. He was a product of St. Louis Public Schools and played college football. His life came to an end Tuesday morning after a tragic car wreck. Mitchell was 24.

On Tuesday night, high school football players returned to Clyde C. Miller Career Academy after practice. They were preparing for a big game this weekend with a big hole in their hearts.

“He made people feel they was welcome. He made everybody feel welcome. You can go to him and talk about anything,” said Diontay Bell, a senior on the team.

Mitchell was critically injured last Friday in a hit and run crash on North Broadway. The person police believe is responsible drove off; they’re still searching for that suspect.

“He was a very caring man. He always wanted the best for us. He wanted us to become well-rounded young men,” said player Dajuan Fields.

Mitchell played football at Vashon and graduated in 2013. He was recruited by the University of Iowa, where he was a running back.

“It’s just a very tough thing. Way, way too young for something like that to happen and our feelings and condolences are with his entire family,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Career Academy head coach Reginald Ferguson not only worked with Mitchell, but he also coached him at Vashon. He said Derrick worked hard at whatever he did.

“He was a great athlete, phenomenal athlete. He played basketball, football, baseball; you name it, he played it,” Ferguson said.

Funeral services were still pending.

Career Academy player Pernell Beasley said everyone will miss him.

“…He played a big part on the team,” Beasley said.

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