A former Durham Lords baseball MVP is returning to the school to take over as head coach of the team.
Darryl Reid has been named new skipper of the defending Canadian championship squad, replacing long-time head coach Sam Dempster, who retired after winning the national title.
Reid, 32, is a former player and assistant coach at Durham College (DC).
He has big spikes to fill.
Dempster spent 28 seasons at the helm and was the only baseball head coach the school has ever known until now.
Reid served as an assistant coach on Dempster’s staff in 2011. Ironically, Durham also won the Canadian title that year, its first-ever national championship.
That’s not the only time Reid and Dempster have coached together.
In 2013, the duo were part of the coaching staff for team Great Britain at the World Baseball Classic.
For the past seven years, Reid has been the general manager of the Toronto Mets, an elite travel baseball organization located in Scarborough, Ont.
Reid brings with him a wealth of coaching and managing experience and credits Dempster with helping him grow as a coach.
“He’s the type of coach that holds you accountable and I’ll continue to do that here,” he says.
Reid played with the Lords from 1997-2000 and was a standout player in the green and gold.
The Lords made it to the national championship in his second season and he capped off his final year by receiving team MVP honours and being named DC’s athlete of the year.
Ken Babcock, Durham’s director of athletics, says he was thrilled to have Reid show interest in the position.
“It’s really exciting when you can find someone that’s one of your own that wants to come back to coach and carry on that tradition.”
Babcock adds Reid’s familiarity with the program was something that helped in the decision-making process.
“He’s not only a great person but a great baseball coach who understands the college system and the student-athlete life.”
During his time at DC, Reid says he learned a lot about the academic side of being a student-athlete.
“I remember going through what I thought was a crisis at the time but I managed to get myself organized and that’s the one thing I can help with these guys.”
One thing he hopes to do is mentor the newcomers of the team and help guide them through their first year on campus.
“Having them be successful on the field and in the classroom is what we really want.”
The baseball season begins in the fall of 2020.