Jerry Scott, Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations
JONESBORO – Arkansas State University has hired Jonesboro, Ark., native Matt Daniel as the head coach of the women’s basketball program, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Terry Mohajir announced Friday.
An introductory press conference for Daniel is set for 11 a.m. on Monday, April 1 inside the auditorium at First National Bank Arena. Fans are encouraged to attend and the event will be streamed live on the A-State Athletics Facebook page.
“We are thrilled to welcome Matt and his family to Arkansas State as the newest members of the Red Wolves family,” said Mohajir. “My obligation is to the girls in that locker room and I truly believe Matt Daniel gives our girls the best opportunity to win championships and go to the NCAA Tournament. He will do a wonderful job representing our athletics department and the women’s basketball program.”
Daniel comes to Arkansas State after a recent five-year stop at Marshall as the head coach. He becomes the seventh coach in program history.
“I want to give a huge thank you to (System President) Dr. Chuck Welch, (Chancellor) Dr. Kelly Damphousse, (Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics) Terry Mohajir, (Deputy Director of Athletics) Rich Zvosec and (Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Women’s Administrator) Amy Holt for giving me this opportunity,” Daniel said. “More importantly I want to give a huge thank you to the support that the fans have given this program and I am excited for that kind of support and what it can do for our basketball team inside First National Bank Arena.
“I am so thankful to represent this community, this part of the state and most importantly this university,” Daniel continued. “Ever since I was little, I have admired how great ambassadors that Jerry Ann Winters, Jeff Mittie and Brian Boyer were for the university and this community and I want to continue that tradition, while at the same time achieving things that have never been done before at Arkansas State.”
In his five seasons as head coach of the Thundering Herd, Daniel won 71 games and led the team to a pair of postseason appearances, including its first ever inclusion in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) in 2015-16.
When Daniel arrived in Huntington, W.V., he spent the first two seasons working to rebuild the Thundering Herd program. The work paid off in 2014-15 when the squad posted a winning record and took part in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) tournament.
Marshall also excelled in the classroom under Daniel’s watch, as it placed 28 members on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll (3.0 cumulative GPA or better) and three more were given the Commissioner’s Academic Medal (3.75).
Prior to his stop at Marshall, Daniel led Central Arkansas to three consecutive 20-win seasons, including a regular-season Southland Conference championship in 2011. He had an overall record of 66-26 in his final three seasons in Conway, Ark., including a mark of 24-7 and a berth in the 2011 WNIT. He was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012.
Preceding his time at UCA, Daniel was an assistant at the University of Missouri where he helped the Tigers go 21-10 in his first season and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers followed up with a 17-win campaign the next season and played in the WNIT.
Daniel began his coaching career as a men’s graduate assistant at Arizona State in 1998-99 before becoming an assistant men’s coach at UT Arlington (1999-2003). Daniel was the head boys’ basketball coach at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock for the 2003-04 season and led the Bruins to a 34-1 record and a national ranking. Daniel then went to Colorado as a women’s assistant coach for one year, serving as the team’s lead recruiter.
Daniel was named Mr. Basketball of Arkansas in 1994 at Jonesboro High School and was the Most Valuable Player of the 4A State Tournament in leading the Hurricanes to the state championship.
He played two seasons at Colorado where he helped the Buffs to an NIT bid as a freshman in 1994-95 and was the first freshman to start in the postseason in CU history. He was also an Academic All-Big Eight selection in 1995.
Daniel, who earned his bachelor’s from Harding University in 1998, and his wife Dr. Jennifer Daniel have two daughters, Steele (6) and Brett (4).
THE MATT DANIEL FILE