PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– Former University of West Florida football player Daryl Wilson won a DII National Championship with the Argonauts in 2019. After that season ended, he knew he didn’t want to be done with football.
“I necessarily didn’t want to play football anymore, but I still wanted to be around the sport and I wanted to go into high school coaching,” Wilson said.
He was given the opportunity to start his coaching career where he played before UWF, Bay High School.
“That’s a dream come true to come back home where it all started so I definitely jumped at the chance the first chance I got it,” Wilson said.
The new defensive line coach is joining fellow Bay High alumnus, head coach Keith Bland on the sidelines. Bland said Wilson stood out in every football game he played at Bay.
Bland was talking with the UWF coaching staff on a regular basis as they recruited 2020 Bay High senior Kingston Grady.
“What Darryl meant to that program at UWF is the same leadership qualities he had when he was here at Bay High School,” Bland said.
Players said the national champion is teaching them a lot of new techniques.
“He’s showing us some things that we need to know in case we go to college or something like that, he’s just preparing us for the long run especially us seniors,” Bay High lineman Elton Rumph said.
Wilson said he wants to get his routes back into the community. He wants the student athletes to see him around every day so they know they can talk to him.
“I’m just a normal guy who just happened to win a national championship, who happened to go to college, just let them know I’m not an abnormal athlete, I’m not nothing special, so anybody can do it,” Wilson said.
His influence goes beyond the field and onto campus where he is known as Coach D. He is substitute teaching at the school as he finishes up classes toward his criminal justice degree.
“To have him as a mentor as these young men so man we’re excited to have Daryl here and he’s a great asset for our coaching staff,” Bland said.
Wilson hopes it isn’t any time soon, but he plans to use his degree to go into the forensic science field when he is done with football.