Darrell Dickey Biography


Claim to Fame: College Football, Kansas State Wildcats
DOB: December 6, 1959
Diabetes Type: 2

Born in Houston, Texas, Darrell Dickey was raised with a passion for football. His father, Jim Dickey, worked as a coach for Kansas State and encouraged Dickey to pursue football in college. When Dickey enrolled in Kansas State University in 1979, his determination to play professionally won him the position of quarterback on the team. Dickey blossomed as a quarterback, and his offensive style led the Wildcats to play in the Independence Bowl, the team's first bowl game, in 1982.

Upon his graduation from Kansas State in 1983, Dickey yearned to stay involved in football, so he set his sights on coaching. He began his career as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M University, and then worked as an Offensive Coordinator for the Memphis Tigers. Dickey continued to gain diverse coaching experience by training various positions at numerous colleges, including Mississippi State, LSU, UTEP, and SMU. In 1998, he became head coach for the North Texas Mean Green. Known for his focus on offense, Dickey led the Mean Green to four consecutive championships in the Sun Belt Conference. Under his direction, the team also had their first bowl win in 57 years.

In 2006, Dickey suffered a heart attack while coaching what would be his final season with the Mean Green. During this time, he also had his gallbladder removed and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, he persevered through his illnesses and only missed one game during his last season with UNT. Despite having to manage his health, Dickey's activity in the football world has not diminished. He has since worked as an Offensive Coordinator for the Utah State Aggies and the New Mexico Lobos. As a person with diabetes who has maintained a career in football for over 25 years, Dickey continues to inspire both rookie players and aspiring athletes in the diabetes community. He will return to the University of Memphis as an Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs coach for the 2012 season.

Reviewed by dLife Staff 05/14 

Find more athletes with diabetes.

Last Modified Date: May 02, 2014

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.
  1. Globos. http://www.golobos.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/dickey_darrell00.html (Accessed 5/20/13)
  2. Utah State Aggies http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/dickey_darrell00.html (Accessed 5/20/13)
  3. Conference USA. http://www.conferenceusa.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/012512aaa.html (Accessed 5/20/13)

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by Lindsey Guerin
As a Type A personality with a perfectionist streak, diabetes management is something that easily gets under my skin. If I can’t do something perfect, then I’d much rather just not do it at all. Which is why burnout creeps up on me super fast. A few days of pesky numbers and I am ready to throw all things diabetes out the window and watch it get hit by an 18-wheeler. So attempting to get my A1c into the lowest possible range ever has proven incredibly tasking for my perfectionist...