Earlier this week Villanova Basketball’s Director of Player Development and member of the 2016 National Championship team, Darryl Reynolds, announced that he’d be departing the Wildcats coaching staff.
Thank you to everybody at @villanovau for this past year man. Being on the Coaching staff at my alma mater made me a professional. I truly urge all former college athletes to return to their schools, even if it’s just for an internship, for nothing else but peace of mind. ✌ pic.twitter.com/Z2kbrQzVma— Darryl Nasir Reynolds (@dreythedirector) October 21, 2019
There was an immediate outpouring of support from Villanova Athletics and Wildcat fans alike. But along with that support came a question that all of his fans and followers want to know, “So what’s next?” Here, in his own words, is the story of how Darryl Reynolds rejoined the Wildcats, created his own brand, and is now starting a new chapter of his professional career.
“So what’s next?”
by Darryl Reynolds
About a year ago, I pulled up to La Salle to play a game of pick up with some other pro players. A little over a hour later, I hobbled using a broom stick like Gandalf’s staff because what I believed to be a bad hyper extension was actually an injury that put my playing career on hold, indefinitely. I got wheeled into the hospital by an annoyed nurse around 10:00pm. She was annoyed because as she rolled all 230lbs of me towards the room, I hummed the Darth Vader theme song with my fingers touched at the tips. You can always find humor in a situation if you look hard enough. My reaction to getting the call a week later that I had actually tore my ACL, LCL, PCL, ruptured my upper calf muscles and ripped my hamstring from my tibia was not as lighthearted.
A week later, I sat across from Coach Wright in his office. On a strictly habits level, I was ready to explain what the hell I was thinking on his play in question. We reached a point in the conversation where I was explaining my idea for the show and his wheels were turning. I was praying it was because he was going to tell me to take over his show on NBC Sports…nah. He blurted out “do you want to be the director of player development” and after a pause, waiting for Ashton Kutcher to walk in, I answered “hell yea”.
Throughout this past year, I spent half of my time mentoring and coaching the team and the other half building my brand as a media personality. I parlayed my show Stay Tuned with D.Rey into a podcast, a guest spot on coach’s show, several appearances on FS1, a co-hosting spot on the Big East digital network for the 2019 award show and a new found career in public speaking. About a week ago, I sat in the Law School with some administrators and the question I love to avoid popped up: so how are you balancing this all? Look up “Reporter makes kid cry on the first day of school” to see my reaction, internally. On the outside, I put on my smug smile and chalked up to the fact that I just put my head down and work…which is true. Although “balance” isn’t the word I would use to describe things at all.
But that type of question is the reason my last task in a coaching roll at ‘Nova took place in a gym in LA. I love my college and the guys playing with Villanova across their chest, but I can’t do both anymore. So when the conversation gets to that point where arms are crossed, necks are rubbed and each person is observing the front of their shoe, I brace myself. And when “so what’s next” is finally put on the table, I proudly say “full time with the media”.
I give that blanket statement because I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be doing. Stay Tuned with D.Rey is coming back as the new age-late night talk show for season 2 and I’ll be hosting a live show for Sixers and Big 5 games at a few local gastro-pubs like Brick and Brew. I’ll also be writing for several sites like Kulture Hub, PHL Sports Nation and Wegryn Ent. while I continue to finish my first book that’s going to be half biography, half motivational text. And there’s a chance I might make my way back towards the game from an analytical stand point. I’m considering returning to Lower Merion in a coaching roll, similar how I did at ‘Nova this past year and using my public speaking skills as a mercenary for whoever’s willing to send a front-end payment and has a positive message. And of course, I’m still recovering from my injury with hopes of playing again.
Bottom line, I could never sit still, and it’s only gotten worse since the injury. I’m that guy whose story on IG and snapchat consist of videos of me driving, singing and driving or a screen shot of what I’m listening too..while driving. Stay Tuned Network is a now an all out media company that will feature several other web-based shows like Stay Tuned with D.Rey and everything with the company will run through www.staytunednetwork.com along with Facebook’s Watch, Youtube and IGTV.
That’s really it. I can’t think of anything else that’s worth mentioning right now but I’m pretty sure I’ll find some other way to stretch myself a little thinner, and I’m completely fine with that.