After nearly three decades under the same bench boss, the Durham College men’s baseball team has a new manager.
Lords alumnus Darryl Reid is taking over the reins, and he knows he has some big shoes to fill.
Reid played for the Durham College Lords in the late ’90s and early 2000s under Sam Dempster.
Now, the 41-year-old is the new skipper, replacing his legendary coach.
“They’ve done well here since he’s been in charge,” said Reid. “You know, sometimes it’s good not to fix things that are not broken.”
Dempster not only started the program at Durham College but led the Lords for 28 years, winning over 400 games and going out with a second national championship.
“I knew Sam was thinking about stepping down, thought about it at that point and then when I saw the posting actually come out I talked it over with my family and I thought it would be the best thing to try and see if it would be a fit for us,” said Reid.
“There’s a great tradition of baseball at Durham College that helps attract those student athletes and we’re counting on the next phase of our program to be the Darryl Reid phase,” said Ken Babcock, athletic director at Durham College.
There was lots of competition for the position, but Darryl’s resume stood out.
“Darryl understood the college game, his role with the Toronto Mets and that elite program, one of the most significant elite programs in the country in developing players and players who could move on to college, there’s a great connection there knowing what it takes to play at the college level,” said Babcock.
Connor May is going into his fourth season with the Lords.
He’s crossed paths with Darryl in the past, and after one practice, he feels the team is in good hands.
“Sam was definitely a player’s coach,” said May. “He kind of sat back and let you figure it out yourself, whereas I think Darryl’s going to be much more hands-on and help you get through hitting slumps and stuff like that.”
There’s a core group of players returning, and catcher Sam Cawker already sees one glaring difference.
“Definitely the age. He definitely has a better rapport with the younger guys and I think the experience is all there, too,” said Cawker.
It will be months before Darryl Reid manages his first Durham College game at Kinsmen Memorial Stadium. In the meantime, he’s getting to know his players and putting his stamp on the program.