Editor’s Note: We asked Daniel Phillips, who has been doing local sports radio with Darren Clayton for the past few years about Clayton becoming the new Athletic Director for Linton-Stockton, and this is what he had to say:
Darren says we have done football games on the radio for six years now, putting things back to 2015. Certainly two of the greatest years in Miner football were those first two, as a State Runner-Up in 2015 and a State Champion in 2016. Other than my own father, I don’t know that I could have shared that experience with anyone else. It feels much longer than six years with Darren, and that is probably because he has been on the Miner sideline since before even I took to the radio booth in 2000.
He has been chief stat keeper for Miner football since back in the Coach Wellington days. And those were pretty heady football days, as well. I think it was 2001 that I asked Darren to come up at halftime and give us a stat rundown, as well as a general feel for how things were on the field and on the sideline. When Keith Doades started doing Castle games, it was completely logical to have Darren move into the booth. He had done games with Doug Boyd many years prior to stat keeping. So, I have always felt 100% at home with Darren. There is an ease in general with his easy-going, roll-with-the-punches personality.
People listening to the radio really have no idea what all goes on in the production of a radio broadcast. I mean, I could fill a few paragraphs over incidents, both self-caused and those brought on by higher powers. Darren is always cool and collected, as well as very much in control. Keeping track of on-air reads to working on timing and organization with board operators back at the station are some key elements to a smooth show — and for people out in radio/internet land not to realize what is happening when it is actually happening is — well — professional at its best!
As for his on-air personality, what can you say. You would think we had talked the questions through and had a dialogue practice. I think the first couple games Darren had printed up a running list of things to help him flow, but that soon stopped. We developed a ‘give and take’ system of finger pointing, nods, looks, and voice inflections that triggered each of us into the appropriate position to be in. I don’t know how to replace that.
As for Darren moving into the Athletic Director’s job, again, I cannot imagine a better-suited individual for the job. Obviously, he has huge shoes to fill with Charlie Karazsia’s retirement. But Darren knows Charlie well, and I’m sure Charlie will be just a phone call away with any help needed.
Darren has a lot of experience in athletics at Linton. He has worked his way up through the basketball program, after playing as a Miner himself during his high school career. He headed Miner basketball from the ’04-’05 year through ’09-’10, ushering in the Joey Hart era. He and his dad were on the football sidelines for what seems like forever keeping stats for several coaches, including Wellington, Weber, and Oliver. Darren’s voice is very common in the basketball season on various radio stations covering various Greene County boys and girls basketball games from all points across the State of Indiana. So, he will be quite used to being a busy man when he takes over the A.D. office.
Personally, I know about the A.D. position, as my dad (Dan Phillips) was the Athletic Director at Linton, which is actually what brought my family to Linton in the first place. Dealing with scheduling, getting the referees, umpires, and officials, making sure the facilities are ready, the contracts with schools are completed, making sure the rules are followed, school buses to and from the events, and the list goes on and on… there really is a huge list of things an A.D. is responsible for. Not the least of which is player and fan safety at home games, and there are a lot of different sports and game! Which makes me think, Darren and his lovely wife, Kim, sure love to travel… I’m wondering how in the world that’s going to happen now. He may need an assistant soon enough, and maybe that is my calling. (LOL!)
So, congratulations to my good friend Darren Clayton. It is always great to see good things happen to good people, and Darren is “good people”. He is a Linton boy, who we all know. He knows us, too. I think the athletic department will be in terrific hands with Darren at the helm.
Of course, I wish Charlie a long and luxurious retirement that I know he has worked hard for. He and Kathy both! It won’t be the same without seeing Charlie and having a few words of wisdom from him on the game at hand.
As for replacing Darren in the radio booth? That’s a lot tougher scenario. But you know what? Charlie will have some time, won’t he? (LOL!)
And Darren, I am a tad-bit expecting some choice seating for Miner football in the coming days!