LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — UL Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball has added a Monroe native and former Mississippi State star as assistant coach, according to Head Coach Bob Marlin today.
Derrick Zimmerman spent the past three seasons on the staff at Mississippi State, serving two seasons as a graduate assistant before serving as Director of Scouting & Analytics on Ben Howland’s staff in 2020-21. His appointment is subject to approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
“We are extremely excited to add Derrick to our coaching staff,” Marlin said. “We feel like he will bring an immediate impact to our program through his energy and experience at both the collegiate and professional level. He showed tremendous leadership as a player at Mississippi State and his overseas experience will help with our young players.”
During his final season in Starkville, Zimmerman headed the oversight of the program’s video operations and statistical metrics. He also assisted the coaching staff with the development of opponent scouting reports.
Zimmerman assisted with player development and opponent scouting during his two-year graduate assistant tenure where the Bulldogs posted back-to-back 20-plus win seasons, fueled by a 2019 NCAA Tournament appearance. Mississippi State also captured consecutive campaigns with 10-plus SEC victories for the first time dating back to 1994-95 and 1995-96 coupled with the program’s best SEC regular-season finish in 2019-20 going back to 2010-11.
“I am very excited in joining the Ragin’ Cajuns Basketball family,” Zimmerman said. “Being from the state of Louisiana, this was a great opportunity to come back home and work with head coach Bob Marlin and his staff while getting to work with a group of talented young men. I am ready to get started working with the team, getting out in the community and helping bring a championship back to Lafayette.”
Zimmerman rejoined the MSU program after a 10-year professional career that spanned six countries after a successful four-year stint with the Bulldogs that included a pair of All-SEC selections during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
Zimmerman helped Mississippi State to three straight postseason trips highlighted by the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Tournaments. The Bulldogs also captured the 2002 SEC Tournament crown and the 2003 SEC Western Division title. His efforts also helped MSU to its highest win total in program history with a 27-8 mark in 2001-02.
Over his four-year career, Zimmerman left his mark on the program’s record book. He sits in second place with 514 career assists only behind Dee Bost. Zimmerman was the SEC’s assist champion in 2001-02 and 2002-03. He is one of three players in program history joining Chuck Evans and Detrick White, in addition to being one of eight players to lead the conference in assists during multiple seasons in SEC history.
Zimmerman garnered 205 career steals which is second-highest in program history only behind Ray White. At 6-foot-3, he also led the Bulldogs in blocks over his final three seasons and finished his career ranked among MSU’s top 10 in career blocks with 89.
Following his MSU career, Zimmerman was selected in the second round with the 40th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 2003 NBA Draft. He played in the NBA D-League for the Columbus Riverdragons (2004-05) and Austin Toros (2005-06). In both seasons, Zimmerman was named the NBDL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Zimmerman saw time in two games with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets during the 2005-06 season before taking his talents overseas.
In December 2006, Zimmerman signed with the Brose Baskets of the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany. He finished out the season with Italy’s Air Avellino. In summer 2008, he signed with Budivelnyk Kyiv in Ukraine. He remained in Ukraine until 2013 where he played with BC Goverla, BC Kyiv and SK Dnipro-Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk. Between time in Italy and Ukraine, Zimmerman played a brief stint with HKK Široki in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Zimmerman returned to Germany in February 2013 when he signed with Giants Ludwigsburg and played with the club for the rest of the season. Then, he moved to Poland in January 2014 to play with Czarni Slupsk for the rest of that season.