Coach Mac helps a student during class.

Walker Brittain CFNN Football Reporter

CAPE FEAR HIGH SCHOOL- His teaching prepares kids for college. His coaching  teaches boys to be better men and the value of hard work. Deramus McLaughlin, better known as Coach Mac, has a passion for coaching but his heart is with his students. 

“I love the kids, and I love being in the classroom,” said Mac. “I became a teacher because I needed a job, and I wanted to coach. I kept teaching because I fell in love with it.”

The Man Himself holding court.

He sees coaching as another opportunity to teach on the football field, but while he teaches history at Cape Fear, helping boys learn the valuable lessons that make successful men is his most rewarding accomplishment. 

Coach Mac played college football at South Carolina State. After college he joined the United States Army and spent the prime years of his life serving his country during the height of the conflict in the Middle East.

When he got back, he earned a degree in political science from Fayetteville State University with aspirations of being a foreign affairs officer.

Coach Mac still loves politics and is ecstatic to chaperone Cape Fear’s Harvard Model Congress delegation again this year.

“The group of kids we take just keeps getting better and better every year,” he said.  “I’m happy where I am today and I’m grateful for where I am today. I wouldn’t change anything.”

“I have played (football) from Pee Wee through college,” said Coach Mac. “My older coaches always said that I would make a good coach one day and recently I started to believe them.”

Coach Mac has played a huge role in the Colts success the past couple of years by coaching the defensive line. 

Senior Nick Minacapelli will play an important role in the Cape Fear defensive line this season according to Coach Mac.

“He’s big time player that makes big time plays when we need them the most,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if its the 1st quarter or 4th quarter. If we are down 30 or up 30. He is going to give it his all. Hard work that is what it is all about.”

He understands that his players might not heed advice now but one day it will help them when they need it the most. 

“Hard work pays off in the end,” said Coach Mac. “Most times you don’t understand what coaches instill in you until you are an adult.”

This is going to be an exciting year at Cape Fear High School, he said.

“I’m very excited to get to know the new principal better and watch him come in and make some good changes,” said Coach Mac. “ I’m looking forward to seeing some new clubs and more and more students start getting involved.”

A war veteran, an athlete, a political junkie, a coach, and a teacher. Coach Deramus McLaughfin is a lot of things but the one thing he is most proud of being is a Cape Fear Colt.