By Madison Nance | Photography by Dana Hawley
When Megan Atkins signed her oldest daughter, Hannah, up for soccer at a local park in 2002, she wasn’t expecting a work relationship to turn into a forever adventure. Megan, a graduate of Chapel Hill High School and UCLA, began talking to Hannah’s coach, Derek Locklear, who was from Pembroke, North Carolina. “It was nice,” Megan says, “to meet someone who felt like home.”
They worked together to start Let’s Give Them a Shot, a nonprofit that provides sports opportunities and physical education instruction to inner-city schools, but then went their separate ways and didn’t meet again until nearly eight years later. They reconnected on Valentine’s Day over a business dinner. That’s when they knew they finally found their forever.
Since then, they have traveled the world together. In Bangkok, Derek planned a surprise proposal on the stairs of the Sirocco at Lebua State Tower. He gave Megan’s children rings, and then gave an engagement ring to his bride-to-be.
Hosted by Megan’s mother and stepfather, Cheryl and Lane Davis, the couple married in the backyard of Megan’s childhood home on October 20, 2018, in Carrboro alongside Megan’s parents, Jim and Jane Atkins, and Derek’s parents, Gerald and Argie Locklear. Megan’s son, Luke, was the best man, and her daughter, Molly Ann, served as maid of honor.
The couple lives in Redondo Beach, California, where Megan is the assistant superintendent of student services at Manhattan Beach Unified School District. Derek is the owner of Coach Derek, Inc. But they recently bought a home in Carrboro, where they plan to retire.
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