A former South Dakota State assistant who helped guide the 2007 team to the school's first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance, Phil McDaniel took over the Jackrabbit volleyball program after being named the 11th head coach in program history on Feb. 19, 2011.
McDaniel returned to SDSU after three successful years at Drake University, where he reinvigorated a Bulldog program by leading Drake to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996.
After taking over a team that won seven games in 2007, the McDaniel led Bulldogs posted a 12-20 record in his first year, and combined to go 45-23 over the next two seasons, including a pair of Missouri Valley Conference Tournament appearances.
The rebuilding of Drake started in 2008, when Drake posted its highest win total since 1998, but started to take shape in 2009, when the Bulldogs qualified for their first Missouri Valley Conference Tournament since 1998 on the strength of a 10-8, fourth-place league finish. The 22 wins in 2009 marked the most since the 1996 squad posted a 24-4 mark and three players earned all-conference honors in 2009, the first such honors since 2002.
Drake won 23 games in 2010, and again qualified for the MVC Tournament. The 2010 season also saw a Drake player earn first-team all-conference honors for the firs time in over a decade.
In addition to the on the court accolades, the Bulldogs also shined under McDaniel's leadership off the court, posting a 3.5 grade-point average in both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years, with an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Award selection in 2008-09.
Individually, McDaniel coached players earned MVC Scholar Athlete first-team honors three times, along with an honorable mention selection and an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII selection.
An assistant coach at South Dakota State from 2005-07, McDaniel helped the Jackrabbits to a 63-42 overall record, the 2007 Summit League title and the school's first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.
During his three-year tenure with the Jacks, he spearheaded recruiting efforts for the SDSU program and monitored academic progress for the Jackrabbits, who earned the AVCA with Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Awards in 2005 and 2006.
Prior to joining the Jackrabbits as an assistant in 2005, McDaniel spent three seasons as an assistant coach at New Mexico State from 2002-04. The Aggies posted an 86-15 record during his tenure, winning the Sun Belt Conference crown in each of his three campaigns while earning berths in the 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournaments.
In addition to his duties at New Mexico State, McDaniel was head coach of the Diamondback Volleyball Club in Las Cruces.
A Mt. Zion, Ill., native, McDaniel served as head coach at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, N.C. from 2000-02, directing the school to a 42-7 record and twice earning Big East Conference 4A Coach of the Year honors in both 2000 and 2001. He also served as director of coaches for the East Carolina Junior Volleyball Club.
McDaniel earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Culver-Stockton College in 1996 and a master's degree in counselor education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1998. He competed on both the soccer and tennis teams while at Culver-Stockton.