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McDaniel named head volleyball coach

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/19/2011 18:06:08
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Former South Dakota State University assistant volleyball coach Phil McDaniel will return to the Jackrabbit program as head coach, Director of Athletics Justin Sell announced Saturday.

"We are excited to welcome Phil back to the SDSU family," Sell said. "He has a proven record of success on the court and in the classroom, but most importantly, he wants to be a Jackrabbit. The future of our volleyball program is very bright."

McDaniel has coached at the Division I level for nine years, including the last three years as head coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he directed a dramatic turnaround. Inheriting a team that won seven matches the season prior to his arrival, McDaniel led Drake to a 12-20 record during his first season in 2008. McDaniel continued to build the Bulldog program, earning consecutive 20-win seasons and a pair of Missouri Valley Conference Tournament appearances. In 2009, Drake tallied a 22-12 overall record, followed by a 23-11 mark this past season to give McDaniel a 59-43 record as a head coach.

His Drake teams also performed well in the classroom, compiling team grade-point averages above 3.3 each season and earning the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award in both 2008 and 2009.

From 2005-07, McDaniel served as assistant coach at SDSU, helping guide the Jackrabbits through the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I competition. SDSU increased its win total each season with McDaniel on the bench, improving from a 16-19 mark in 2005, to a 22-12 record in 2006, and ending with a 25-11 campaign in 2007.

"I'd like to thank Justin Sell, President Chicoine, and the search committee at SDSU for the opportunity to come back to a campus and a community that has meant so much to me and my family," McDaniel said. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the young ladies who are part of the volleyball program. The relationship between campus and the Brookings community is incredibly supportive of the program, and I am ready to do my part to move that relationship forward."

In its first season of Summit League competition, the 2007 Jackrabbit squad won the league regular season title with a 13-3 mark and later defeated IPFW in the Summit League championship match to become the first SDSU team to earn a Division I postseason appearance.

During his previous stint at SDSU, McDaniel recruited current Jackrabbit standouts Ellyce Youngren and reigning Summit League Player of the Year Kelli Fiegen. The Jackrabbits completed a 16-14 season in 2010, making their first trip to the league postseason tournament since 2007.

McDaniel's first Division I coaching experience came at New Mexico State from 2002-04, where he was part of a program that accumulated a record of 86-15 over three seasons and made two NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition to his duties at New Mexico State, McDaniel was head coach of the Diamondback Volleyball Club in Las Cruces.

A native of Decatur, Ill., McDaniel earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Culver-Stockton College (Mo.) in 1996. He completed a master's degree in counselor education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1998.

McDaniel will begin his duties at South Dakota State on March 3.

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