WCU to hold 14 additional practices, culminating with Spring Game on April 20
De'Rail Sims joined the Catamount Football coaching staff in January of 2013, making the move to WCU from perennial Division-II football power, Carson-Newman, after spending a season coaching the Eagles' running backs. He additionally served as C-N's video coordinator. Sims continues to mentor the Catamount running backs - and in the summer of 2015 was named WCU's Director of Player Development and handles most of the football team's community service initiatives.
Also during the off-season following the 2014 season, Sims was selected to attend the prestigious NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy put on by the NCAA Leadership Development staff and National Football League Player Engagement.
Under the tutelage of Sims, WCU's running backs have flourished. Darius Ramsey was a 2014 second team All-Southern Conference selection after rushing for 763 yards and six touchdowns, while Detrez Newsome garnered SoCon All-Freshman honors as a running back, scoring a team-best nine rushing TDs. Ramsey was also a Capital One Academic All-District III and Capital One Academic All-America selection across all levels of football in 2014.
In 2012, Sims worked with Carson-Newman's running attack which led Division II football by averaging nearly 380 rushing yards per game and 52 touchdowns on the ground. The 52 rushing scores on the ground were the most among all schools in all NCAA divisions - and only Georgia Southern averaged more yards per rush than did C-N.
Under Sims' guidance, Carson-Newman running back Brandon Baker rushed for 1,468 yards - the third-best in Eagles' history - and 13 TDs. Baker's 8.25 yards per carry were the best in the nation for anyone with more than 100 carries in 2012. He was named first team All-SAC as well as earned postseason honors in being selected to the Associated Press (AP) Little All-America Team and was named to the Don Hansen All-Super Region II team.
A native of Union, S.C., where he won a South Carolina State Championship in 2002, Sims was a two-year starter for the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, playing from 2006-08. He got his start in collegiate coaching in 2009 at Pikeville as a student assistant coaching the outside linebackers.
Following his graduation with a history/political science degree, Sims spent the 2010 season coaching tight ends and coordinating the video aspects for Millersville University football program before returning to his alma mater as the running back coach and director of football operations in 2011. He additionally served as the head coach for Pikeville's junior varsity squad.