Matt Daniel Leaves UCA To Head Women's Basketball Program at Marshall

by Tre Baker  on Tuesday, May. 29, 2012 11:59 pm  

Matt Daniel took the UCA Sugar Bears to its first Southland Conference championship and led the team from D-II to D-I status. He confirmed Tuesday that he has been hired as the new women's basketball coach at Marshall University. (Photo by Josh Goff/UCA Media Relations)

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The 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year is moving on to Conference USA.

UCA women's basketball coach Matt Daniel says he's ecstatic to be hired at the same position at Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va. Daniel, 35, will replace Royce Chadwick who has coached the Thundering Herd for 11 seasons. In a quote from Marshall's website, Daniel gives Herd fans a glimpse into what they can expect from him in seasons to come:

"I was recruited here as a player by coach (Billy) Donovan and I think that his style of play fits my style of play. We will play a style of basketball that is entertaining and fast paced. I think it's more fun to coach, officiate, watch, and play against. We flipped the program at Central Arkansas into a championship program and a prominent program nationally. We will come and try to do the same at Marshall."

Daniel was hired in 2008 at UCA in a rare mid-season move, replacing Checola Seals-Horton, who was dismissed after a 2-11 start. In each of his three full seasons with the Sugar Bears, Daniel led the team to at least 20 wins. More milestones were reached, as UCA's sports page points out.

Daniel, who was 72-50 in four years at UCA, was 66-27 during the last three seasons while hitting the 21-win mark each year – the first time a Southland team had done so since 2002. He was twice named the league's Coach of the Year – earning the award this past season after the Sugar Bears went 14-2 in conference play for their first Division I conference championship; and in 2010 after orchestrating a 15-win improvement from the previous season – the nation's biggest turnaround that year and the biggest in Southland history at the time.

Dr. Brad Teague, UCA's athletic director, said in a released statement that "We are happy for Coach Daniel," and that he expects "to move quickly" in finding a new coach.

Before coming to Conway, Daniel had served as an assistant coach at Missouri, Colorado and Texas-Arlington. He played collegiate ball for Colorado and then Harding Univeristy, where he received his degree. He led Jonesboro to the state championship in high school and was named Mr. Basketball in 1994.

Chadwick moved on from Marshall to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi after putting together a 162-169 record with the Thundering Herd.



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