Derrick Worrels, Head Coach
Coach Derrick Worrels, returns for his 15th year as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Hillsborough Community College.
Coach Worrels had his first start as Head Coach serving as the Women’s Basketball Coach for two years before coming over to the men side in 2000.
Coach Worrels also competed for the HCC Hawks as a player posting a record that still stands of 24 consecutive victories in his sophomore season.
Coach Worrels played for legendary Coach, mentor and Hall of Famer Coach Joe Patton.
Coach Worrels has led the Hawks to numerous State Tournament appearances, conference tournament and conference championships.
In 2010 Coach Worrels decided to go the NCAA Division I route and went on to Canisius College and worked for one of the best coaches and people in the business Tom Parrotta. At Canisius College Coach Worrels witnessed an incredible feat by the Men’s basketball team. Five Senior’s graduated with not only their Bachelor’s Degree, but also their Masters Degree most in 4 years.
Coach Worrels was fortunate to return to Hillsborough Community College after a brief stint with Canisius.
As a Coach one of the biggest accomplishments that stands on-going is the 90 percent graduation rate the men’s basketball team has, as well as the number of players that have transitioned from HCC to 4 year institutions. Many players now enjoy professional careers through basketball, law, and the medical fields etc. Thus proving the value Hillsborough Community College and the vehicle (basketball) by which you achieve those great careers.
After leaving HCC Coach Worrels then went on to play and Graduate from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in Business. Coach Worrels also has his Master Degree in Psychology from National Louis University.
Jesus Verdejo, Assistant Coach
Jesus R. Verdejo returns for his 3rd year as the Associate Men’s Basketball Coach at Hillsborough Community College.
Coach Verdejo is a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico where he spent several years playing for the men’s basketball national team before coming to the United States to continue his education and basketball career.
Coach Verdejo received a scholarship to the University of Arizona in 2004 where he helped lead the team to Conference Championship and a great run in the NCCA tournament to the Elite 8. After spending two years at Arizona, Coach Verdejo transferred to the University of South Florida where he received the Student Athlete of the year award in 2008.
Coach Verdejo graduated from USF in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Minor degree in Criminology in 2009. Coach Verdejo went on to play 7 years of professional basketball in different countries such as Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Coach Verdejo ended his professional basketball career in 2015. Coach Verdejo received his first coaching opportunity at the collegiate level in 2015 under the leadership of men’s basketball Head Coach, Derrick Worrels.
In his 3 years of coaching at Hillsborough Community College, Coach Verdejo has helped mentor, coach, and transition several players to Division 1 schools. Coach Verdejo resides in Wesley Chapel, Florida with his wife and daughter.
Jay Jay Mastrovito, Assistant Coach
Coach Jay Jay Mastrovito returns to the Hawks as an assistant coach in 2015. He was the team manager in 1999-2000. While assisting Coach Worrels, they lead the Hawks back the State Playoffs after a four year absence.
After the season, Mastrovito joined the Florida Air National Guard stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Mastrovito was activated due to the events on September 11, 2001. Mastrovito separated from the United States Air Force in 2003 to pursue his education from the University of South Florida graduating with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Management Information Systems in 2005. Mastrovito rejoined the 290th Florida Air National Guard in February of 2009 to continue serving our nation’s call by deploying to countries all around the world.
In 2013 Mastrovito joined the coaching staff at Ferrell Middle School leading the Tigers to place second in the conference. Finally, Mastrovito volunteered as an Assistant Coach to the Tampa Bay Thunder, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) organization, in 2015.
Currently, Mastrovito resides in Tampa, Florida with his two daughters Laney and Holly.