Comet defensive line coach dies in automobile accident

Young football coach, player’s life cut short during his early morning commute home

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

A 24-year-old local football player standout and the Contra Costa College football team’s defensive line coach Darryl Blackmon died as a result of an automobile accident on a freeway at 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 1 in Mill Valley.

According to family, Blackmon fell asleep returning from his night job while traveling north on Hwy 101. His Chrysler sedan hit a guardrail north of the Seminary drive off-ramp.

The controversial type of guardrail involved is banned in over 30 states. Investigations, however, have not determined if the barrier in question was the major factor involved in the severity of the crash because details surrounding his death have not been released by the Sheriff’s Coroners Department of Marin County.

Blackmon was born on Jan. 31 1990. He was raised in Oakland, California but was a student at Berkeley High School (BHS) when his football life began to take shape.

CCC’s current football coach, Alonzo Carter, was the varsity BHS football coach when Blackmon joined the team as a sophomore in 2006.

Carter said he re-introduced Blackmon to the game of football. He said he was able to watch his passion and energy fuel his way to playing Division 1 football at Kansas State University.

“I’ve known (Blackmon)  since he was 16-years-old when I began coaching (football) at Berkeley High,” he said. “His mom was involved and helped solidify his decision to play football. Over the years myself, my wife and his mom all became like extended family.”

Blackmon’s first collegiate stop was at San Francisco City College. He then transferred to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where he finished his football scholarship. At 24, however, the 6-foot-7 defensive lineman’s career was far from over.

Carter said he knew that his former player’s experience, fresh ideas, and un-containable energy would be perfect to fill a recently vacated position on the Comet’s coaching staff.

“He always pushed us,” CCC defensive lineman Chibu Onyekwu said. “Coach Blackmon never let us look at all of the work involved with playing football as punishment- he helped us see it as a way out.”

Many on the Comet coaching staff said Blackmon was as thorough during practice and was productive motivating CCC’s defensive linesmen to strive for excellence.

Despite dedicating most of his time to coaching, Blackmon had not given up his dream of playing in the National Football League. Carter said Blackmon was still preparing for the next Pro Try-Out Day.

Blackmon, Carter said, is still dedicated to his dream of reaching the NFL as he recently tore his labrum (the main joint in his shoulder) while training for an open try-out for the San Fransisco 49ers.

Carter said Blackmon did this all while he still thought of his academic future. He said he was working to attain his master’s degree and give his aspiration of building a coaching career a solid foundation.

“It’s good to have a young aggressive coach,” CCC defensive lineman Deonte Reynolds said. “(Blackmon) knew a lot of techniques, definitely a help. He just knew the game (of football).”

Carter said Blackmon was an all around good person. He said his infectious smile and exuberant personality will be missed at practice and around the campus.

Services for Darryl Blackmon will be held on Wed. The time and location of the services, however, will be released when available.