Darren Paige | University of Cincinnati

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Team: University of Cincinnati
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Running Backs Coach
Hometown: Rossford, Ohio

Biography

Darren Paige joined the University of Cincinnati staff in 2021 as running backs coach.
 
Paige, entering his second decade in coaching, came to UC after spending 2019-20 mentoring wide receivers at Eastern Michigan.
 
EMU was limited to six games in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the wide receivers group accounted for 77 percent of the team’s receptions (97-of-126) and 58 percent of the scores (7-of-12). EMU led the nation in red-zone offense and Hassan Beydoun was a Second-Team All-Mid-American Conference selection.

Eastern’s offense was electric in 2019 en route to an appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl, amassing 5,271 total yards, 49 touchdowns, and 379 total points. Overall, the EMU offense set the program record for touchdowns in a season (49), touchdown passes in a season (27), and passes completed in a season (313). Additionally, EMU’s 285 first downs, 379 points, and 5,271 total yards of offense ranked second all-time in program history.

Wide receiver Arthur Jackson III was selected Second Team All-MAC after leading the team with the 16th-most yards receiving in a single-season at EMU. He had 732 yards receiving on 46 catches and notched seven touchdowns on the year to ranked tied for fifth in a single campaign. Additionally, his 15.91 yards per reception ranked eighth in the MAC.

Paige has mentored wide receivers for the past nine seasons with a previous stop at Stony Brook University during the 2018 campaign. In his one season with the Seawolves, he helped SBU earned the program’s fourth NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoff appearance.  The wide receiving corps hauled in 161 catches for 2,050 yards and 17 touchdowns, led by Julius Wingate who averaged 14 yards per catch.

Prior to his arrival at Stony Brook, Paige had a one-year stint as the wide receivers coach at the College of the Holy Cross. In 2017, Paige helped Blaise Bell earn Second Team All-Patriot League honors after the junior wide receiver led the Crusaders with 46 receptions for 601 yards and eight touchdowns. As a team, Holy Cross finished second in the Patriot League in Passing Offense as it averaged 254 passing yards per game. Two of his charges, Julius Wingate (Kansas City) and Marshall Ellick (Philadelphia), spent time in NFL Training Camps.

Paige spent the summer of 2017 with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship Program.

From 2013-16, he served as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Mustangs went 31-12 during Paige’s four years on the staff, while advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Midwestern State earned the No. 1 seed in Region 4 after winning the Lone Star Conference Playoff. During Paige’s tenure, the Mustangs averaged at least 30 points and 400 yards of total offense per game each season. His players earned all-conference honors six times, including DeAndre Black, who was named a Second Team All-American in 2016.

Prior to his time at Midwestern State, Paige served as an offensive graduate assistant coach at Kent State University during the 2012 season, working with the wide receivers. He helped the Golden Flashes to an overall record of 11-3 and the 2012 MAC East Division Championship. The team’s 11 wins and 10-game win streak were both program records. On an individual level, Dri Archer was named a First Team All-American as a kick returner and a Third Team All-American as an all-purpose player. Archer was selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Paige also coached the wide receivers at Gannon University in Erie, Pa. in 2011 and was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Haines City (Fla.) High School in 2009.

The former collegiate standout also enjoyed a two-year professional career (2008-09) with the Peoria Pirates of the Arena Football League 2 (AF2), seeing action in 20 games. In his second season, he hauled in 63 passes for 663 yards and nine touchdowns while returning 34 kickoffs for 678 yards and another score. In all, Paige accounted for 1,344 all-purpose yards while making 15 tackles on defense to garnered mention as Peoria’s Iron Man of the Year.

He earned an invitation to the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders mini-camp in 2009 and participated in training camp for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League in 2010.

Paige began his collegiate career at Miami University, playing in seven games as a “true” freshman in 2003. The RedHawks were 13-1 and winners of the Mid-American Conference and GMAC Bowl Championships. He then transferred to the University of Findlay for three seasons (2005-07). He led the Oilers in receptions and receiving yards all three seasons, totaling 117 catches for 1,461 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Rossford, Ohio native earned Ohio High School Division IV Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior. He also played in the Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 All-Star Game and the Ohio North-South All-Star Game.

Paige graduated from Findlay in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and completed his master’s degree at Kent State in 2013.

Paige and his wife, Amanda, have a son, Brandon (Zek), and a daughter, Aniyah.
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION
Born:
 August 7, 1984
Hometown: Rossford, Ohio
Wife: Amanda
Children: Brandon (Zek), Aniyah
Education: Findlay (B.S. 2008); Kent State (M.S. 2013)
Year in Coaching: 11th
 
PLAYING CAREER
2003:
 Miami (OH) (Wide Receiver)
2005-07: Findlay (Wide Receiver)
2008-09: Peoria Pirates (AFL2) (Wide Receiver)
 
COACHING CAREER
YEAR: SCHOOL – POSITION

2009: Haines City (Fla.) HS – Co-Offensive Coordinator/QBs
2011: Gannon – Wide Receivers
2012: Kent State – Graduate Assistant
2013-16: Midwestern State – Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
2017: Holy Cross – Wide Receivers
2018: Stony Brook – Wide Receivers
2019-20: Eastern Michigan – Wide Receivers
2021-: Cincinnati – Running Backs

BOWLS COACHED IN
YEAR: SCHOOL - BOWL
2012: 
Kent State - GoDaddy.com
2019: Eastern Michigan – Quick Lanes

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