Jeff Darlington, an award-winning journalist who has covered the NFL and other sports since 2004, has joined ESPN in a reporting role that will include SportsCenter and multiple ESPN platforms. He begins his new duties Sept. 1.
“We are thrilled to have Jeff join ESPN as a reporter,” said Craig Bengtson, ESPN vice president, SportsCenter and News. “While we will take advantage of his extensive experience covering the NFL, Jeff’s role within our news organization will be broad.”
Bengtson said Darlington’s responsibilities also will include general assignment reporting on all sports, along with long-form enterprise and feature storytelling for multiple platforms.
“Like a lot of people, I’ve always viewed a role at ESPN as a dream job,” Darlington said. “But it wasn’t until I started to develop relationships with so many great friends and colleagues inside ESPN that I realized how much I wanted to be a part of this team.
“Ultimately, I’m passionate about sharing the untold stories of inspiring athletes. And to share those stories on ESPN is something I’ll value every time I get that chance.”
For the past four years, Darlington was a national field reporter for the NFL Network, covering many of the NFL’s biggest stories from stadiums and team facilities and regularly appearing on the network’s Sunday morning preview show. He transitioned to the TV role from NFL.com, where he was a national reporter in 2011, much of it following the playoff run of the Denver Broncos with quarterback Tim Tebow.
Darlington was Miami Dolphins beat reporter for the Miami Herald from 2006-2011, during which time he also began to appear on several ESPN programs including First Take to discuss NFL headlines.
After graduating from the University of Florida with a journalism degree, Darlington was hired by the Orlando Sentinel as beat writer for Florida Gators sports in 2004. The next year, he moved to the Palm Beach Post to report on the Dolphins.
During his career, Darlington has covered 10 Super Bowls and more than 200 NFL games, producing full-access features on players including Von Miller, Julio Jones, DeMaryius Thomas, Robert Griffin III and many other NFL stars. He has won two Associated Press Sports Editors awards for breaking news.
A native of Seminole, Fla., near St. Petersburg, Darlington will be based in South Florida.
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