Women’s basketball coach describes son being ‘Outer Banks’ star

Coach Starkey poses with his son, Drew, and daughter, Brooke, during a basketball practice in Kent States M.A.C. Center. Brooke graduated from Kent State in 2021.

Courtesy of Todd Starkey

Coach Starkey poses with his son, Drew, and daughter, Brooke, during a basketball practice in Kent State’s M.A.C. Center. Brooke graduated from Kent State in 2021.

Kelsie Horner, Digital Tech

The Netflix-original show “Outer Banks” premiered its third season Thursday at 3 a.m. The show features Drew Starkey, the son of Kent State’s women’s basketball coach Todd Starkey, as its main villain.

Outer Banks, first released in 2020, follows the lives of five fictional teenagers living in Outer Banks, North Carolina. Decades before the show takes place, a boat – with a large stash of gold – sunk in the Atlantic ocean.

While many people have tried to find the gold, all have failed – and some were even murdered during the journey. Now a group of struggling teenagers work to find the gold for themselves, while competing against the rich and corrupt Cameron family for the wealth.

The first two seasons of “Outer Banks” can be found on Netflix. In 2020, the show even received the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Binge Worthy Show.”

Todd has been the head coach of Kent State’s women’s basketball team for seven seasons. Drew, 29, is the oldest of Todd’s four children.

Drew and his siblings grew up in Hickory, North Carolina. As a kid, Drew grew up playing baseball and basketball. He also learned to play the guitar and the piano.

“He never was an attention seeking kid,” coach Starkey said. “He’s pretty shy. He always had a kind of a dry sense of humor, he’s always been funny, definitely more quiet, a thinker and really good in school academically.”

Coach Starkey poses with his son, Drew, as they hike through Arches National Park in Utah April 17, 2021. Todd and Drew enjoy riding their motorcycles and hiking through National Parks. (Courtesy of Todd Starkey)

Drew graduated from St. Stephens high school in Hickory, North Carolina. It was through the school’s theater program, Tractor Shed Theater, he first took an interest in acting.

After high school, Drew attended Western Carolina University, where he double majored in English and theater and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

“He was involved in theater at Western Carolina and got cast in some productions and stuff there and really had a professor there that really felt like he was very talented and as an actor and really encouraged him,” said coach Starkey. “I think that was kind of his confirmation that this was something that he wanted to pursue.”

After college, Drew moved to Atlanta to begin auditioning for more major roles. He has played minor characters in films such as “Ozark,” “The Hate U Give,” “Hellraiser” and “Love, Simon.” After playing only minor roles in big films, Drew landed the role of main antagonist Rafe Cameron in Outer Banks.

Rafe Cameron, Drew’s character in Outer Banks, can be seen battling a drug addiction and escaping crime. Drew portrays a serious and dark character.

“I always joke with people, I always say, ‘I’m trying to get him into counseling’ — at first, it was a little bit of a shock to see him acting like that,” Todd Starkey said. “Anybody who knows him knows that he’s a really good actor because the character that he plays, Rafe, is completely 180 degrees away from who he is as a person.”

Drew now lives in Los Angeles. Coach Starkey said he visits him when he can, and he often also gets to spend time with the whole Outer Banks cast. Coach Starkey said he and his son enjoy riding motorcycles and hiking in the National Parks when together.

“I’m really proud of him — that he’s doing something he’s passionate about and that he’s such a levelheaded young man and is doing well for himself,” coach Starkey said. “It makes me proud just to know he’s doing well, my kids are doing well and I just feel really fortunate for that for sure.”

Fans react and a new season awaits

Fans are anxiously awaiting for the release of Outer Banks season three. The Outer Banks cast announced at a premier event Feb. 18, that the show was renewed for a fourth season.

Jess Madden, a fan of Outer Banks, and sophomore history and anthropology major, is looking forward to the new season coming out.

“I’m a big fan of lost cities and buried treasure, so I’m looking forward to a return to that for sure,” Madden said. “But I also want to see how the writers are planning on tying up some loose ends with the gold from season one and the cross from season two, and I’m hoping we’ll move onto a bigger bad than Ward Cameron [Rafe’s dad]. To me, it feels like they’ve pushed that particular character’s storyline as far as it can go.”

Hannah Toth, a junior English major and fellow “Outer Banks” fan, said she thought the show’s Kent State relationship was exciting.

“I think it’s super cool to have a connection like that at Kent State for a show that I love so much,” said Toth.

Kelsie Horner is a digital tech. Contact her at [email protected].