Derrick Shepard (defensive lineman) – Wikipedia

American football player, coach, and executive (born 1975)

American football player

Derrick L. Shepard is a former American arena and indoor football defensive lineman. Shepard grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and attended Meadowdale High School. His football ability earned him a scholarship to Georgia Tech, where he participated in football for four years.

After spending two years in training camps with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, Shepard began playing arena football. He played for the Arizona Rattlers and the Detroit Fury, before playing his next 5 years in af2 with the Tennessee Valley Vipers, Cincinnati Swarm and the Louisville Fire.
After playing professionally for 9 years, Shepard became a coach of indoor football for the Miami Valley Silverbacks. He had been the Silverbacks Head Coach, as well as offensive and defensive line coach. In 2011, he led the Silverbacks to a .500 winning percentage, at the time a Silverbacks record.

Early life[edit]

He attended Meadowdale High School in Dayton, Ohio.

College career[edit]

Upon his graduation, Shepard received a scholarship to play football at Georgia Tech.[1] Shepard redshirted during his first season for Head Coach, Bill Lewis. Shepard saw very little playing time under coach Lewis, who was fired after a 1–7 start to the 1994 season. George O’Leary replaced Lewis for the remaining three games, which Shepard started all three. During his junior year, Shepard scored the first touchdown of his life at any level, when he recovered a fumble and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown, which turned out to be the game winning score in a 28–16 game versus N.C. State.[2] His senior season he had one interception that he return 68 yards.[3] After a 1997 game against Duke, Shepard was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week.


Season Team  
1997[4] Georgia Tech 12 12
1996[5] Georgia Tech 11 11 34 23 57 0 2 3 12 6.0 4.0 1
1995[6] Georgia Tech 11 7 17 22 39 0 3 3 22 4.0 1.0 0
1994[7] Georgia Tech 6 4 8 7 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 40 34 59 52 111 0 6 6 34 10.0 5.0 1

Professional career[edit]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

After not hearing his named called in the 1998 NFL Draft, Shepard signed as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins.[8]

New England Patriots[edit]

In 1999, Shepard signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots.[9] He was waived on August 1, 1999.[10]

Arizona Rattlers[edit]

In 2000, Shepard tried his hand at Arena football, signing with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League. He recorded 4.5 tackles, 1 sack and two pass breakups on the season.[11]

Detroit Fury[edit]

On April 11, 2001, Shepard was traded to the Detroit Fury for Kelvin Ingram. He played in just one game, recording a sack. He was waived on June 20, 2001.

Tennessee Valley Vipers[edit]

In 2002, Shepard played for the Tennessee Valley Vipers of the af2.

Cincinnati Swarm[edit]

In 2003, Shepard played with the Cincinnati Swarm also of the af2.

Louisville Fire[edit]

In 2004, Shepard joined the Louisville Fire, also of the af2.[12] On August 11, 2004, Shepard scored the game-winning touchdown against the Quad City Steamwheelers in a 53–48 game.[13]

Dayton Warbirds[edit]

Miami Valley Silverbacks[edit]

In 2010, Shepard was an offensive and defensive line coach for the Miami Valley Silverbacks. His former teammate, Brian Wells was hired as the team’s head coach in 2010, and he convinced Shepard to suit up for the Silverbacks.[14] Shepard appeared in just a single game, recording one tackle on the season.[15]

Coaching career[edit]

Miami Valley/Dayton Silverbacks[edit]

In 2008, Shepard was named the head coach of the Miami Valley Silverbacks for the 2009 season.[16] The Silverbacks went 0-10 and decided they would not retain Shepard as head coach.

In 2010, the Silverbacks hired a former teammate and coach of Shephard’s in Brian Wells. Wells signed Shepard as a player for the Silverbacks, but after just one game, Shepard joined the coaching staff working with the offensive and defensive lines.

In 2011, Shepard returned to the role of head coach for the Silverbacks, as they had found a new home at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio.[17] Shepard led the Silverbacks to a 5–5 record and earned the team their second-straight playoff berth. Their .500 winning percentage for the season was a Silverbacks record, until it was broken in 2012. Following the 2011 season, Shepard resigned as the Silverbacks head coach.[18]

In 2012, Shepard was once again the offensive and defensive line coach for the Silverbacks.[19] He also received a role in the front office as the public relations director.

Dayton Wolfpack[edit]

On December 31, 2016, the National Arena League announced Shepard would the first head coach their Dayton expansion team, the Dayton Wolfpack.[20] However, the team would fail to secure a lease for a home arena in time for the season and travelling team based out of Atlanta, Georgia, took on the mantle of the Wolfpack for the 2017 season and Shepard is no longer involved with the team.

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MV 2009 0 10 0 .000 6th in CIFL 0 0 .000
DAY 2011 5 5 0 .500 3rd in CIFL 0 1 .000 Lost to Marion Blue Racers in CIFL Semi-Final
MV/DAY Total 5 15 0 .250 0 1 .000
Total 5 15 0 .250 0 1 .000


  1. ^ Sam Heys. “Bill Lewis Q & A”. Georgia Tech Alumni. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  2. ^ “Tech storms past Wolfpack”. The Augusta Chronicle. September 8, 1996. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  3. ^ “Derrick Sheppard”. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  4. ^ “1997 Statistics” (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  5. ^ “1996 Final Statistics” (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  6. ^ “1995 Statistics” (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  7. ^ “1994 Final Statistics” (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  8. ^ “Dolphins News: Nine Rookie FAs Signed”. April 21, 1998. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  9. ^ “Derrick Shepard”. New England Patriots. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  10. ^ “Transactions”. Seattle Times. August 1, 1999.
  11. ^ “2000 Arizona Rattlers”. Arena Fan. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  12. ^ “Fire Assigned Six Players”. OurSports Central. February 12, 2004. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  13. ^ “The Fire Wire”. OurSports Central. August 11, 2004. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  14. ^ “Miami Valley Silverbacks Strengthen D-Line”. OurSports Central. March 12, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  15. ^ “CIFL 2010 Season – Miami Vy Silverbacks”. Continental Indoor Football League. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  16. ^ “Shepard named new Silverbacks coach”. Dayton Daily News. October 14, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  17. ^ Monica McGee (March 8, 2011). “Silverbacks Season Opener at Hara Arena a Smashing Success”. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  18. ^ “Coach resigns from Silverbacks”. Dayton Daily News. June 15, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  19. ^ B.J. Bethel (April 14, 2012). “Silverbacks go for franchise wins mark”. Dayton Daily News. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  20. ^ “2017 Coaches For The Dayton Wolfpack Announced”. National Arena League. December 31, 2016. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2017.