Daren is a Hutchinson native who attended Central Christian before graduating from Pretty Prairie High School. At Pretty Prairie, Daren was a three-sport athlete in Football, Basketball and Track. He served as the Senior Class Vice President and was nominated Homecoming King. Daren won the Class 1A Improvised Duet Acting State Championship with his partner David Painter. Daren performed in the school play his junior and senior year. He played the lead character in Cheaper by the Dozen the same year Steve Martin played the role in Hollywood.
Daren moved on to Hutchinson Community College where he earned his Associate Degree in Arts. While at HCC, Daren was active in theatre and broadcasting. He played Moliere’s Tartuffe and appeared in Chicago, The Tempest, Loose Change Players Improv and Honk! Daren was the Sports Anchor on HCC Channel 13 and hosted his own sports show with players and coaches. His Sportscast won first place in the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Awards, finishing ahead of entries from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.
Daren then earned his Bachelor of Science in Journalism at the University of Kansas. At KU, he hosted Jayhawk Sports Talk on KUJH-TV, anchored the television sportscast and hosted The Big Finish on KJHK radio. Daren received four more KAB awards for his work in radio and television, including Best Entertainment Program in the state for JST.