(November 3, 2015) Career and financial stability are an elusive duo for many sports broadcasters. Darius Thigpen has achieved both in his new position. An STAA member, Thigpen is joining Longwood University as Assistant Director of Athletic Communications in New Media.
Longwood is a member of the NCAA Division I Big South Conference.
STAA sent the job lead to members on September 15th. At about the same time, Thigpen learned of the opportunity through a friend who has ties to the school.
A 2014 graduate of Ohio State University, Thigpen spent the past two summers in minor league baseball. Two seasons ago he was a broadcasting intern with the Columbus Clippers. This past summer, he was the studio host for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. While Thigpen grew considerably in both positions, he is grateful for the stability of a full-time position with benefits.
“After going to the [baseball] Winter Meetings in San Diego in 2014 I learned full-time play-by-play jobs are extremely rare, especially for guys relatively new to the industry,” says Thigpen. “There are people who have been in the lower levels of the minors for years who are still looking for a position that is full-time. Most have to look for work in the baseball off-season.”
In addition to the stability, Thigpen appreciates the non-broadcasting responsibilities of his position at Longwood. “Rather than being in sales or something similar, the role calls for me to be an assistant SID, a utility guy for the Athletic Communications department, and to do anything else needed to help the Athletics Department.
“This is a job that will help me grow as a broadcaster, as a writer, as a media relations professional, and will help me develop a number of skills in the sports industry. I’ll be tested in a number of ways on a daily basis and I embrace the challenge.”
As excited as he is for the position in Virginia, Thigpen isn’t closing the door on one day returning to baseball.
“With calling games and doing plenty of media relations and PR work with Longwood I’ll be working on the skills required of many minor league play-by-play guys. There may come a day when I go back to minor league ball.
“I don’t know what the future has in store for me. Only God knows and I’m just living in the moment and working on doing my best at the opportunities I’ve been blessed with. I know in interviews we’re all in love with the ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ question, but I try to take things one season and one year at a time. What I do know is that I’m in the right industry, I love what I do, and I’m going to continue to give sportscasting everything that I have.”