JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro native will be the new head coach of Arkansas State women’s basketball.
AStateNation was the first to report that Matt Daniel was hired. He’s had experience turning around programs at Central Arkansas and Marshall.
According to a media release from university officials, an introductory press conference will be held at 11 a.m. April 1 in the auditorium at First National Bank Arena.
A-State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir said in the release that officials are thankful for Daniel and his family.
“We are thrilled to welcome Matt and his family to Arkansas State as the newest members of the Red Wolves family,” Mohajir said in the statement to Region 8 News. “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 said he appreciates the opportunity to return home, honoring university officials, fans and former coaches in the statement.
“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 in the statement. “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 said. “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.”
Daniel has a career record of 143-135 in 9 seasons. His last year on the sideline was the 2016-2017 season where Marshall finished 13-17. Matt stepped down as Thundering Herd head coach on March 13th, 2017 for family reasons, moving back to Arkansas.
He led UCA from 2008-2012 in the midst of the Division II to Division I transition. Daniel was 66-26 in his final 3 seasons in Conway, winning at least 21 games in each campaign. The Sugar Bears won the Southland Conference regular season title in 2011-2012 & competed in the 2012 WNIT. He was the 2010 & 2012 Southland Coach of the Year.
Daniel parlayed that success into a job at Marshall. The Thundering Herd struggled in 2012-13 (21 losses) and 2013-14 (20 losses). MU rebounded the following two seasons, going 17-15 in 2014-15 and 22-12 in 2015-16. Daniel is responsible for 2 of the 3 postseason appearances in program history (2015 WBI & 2016 WNIT).
The Jonesboro High alum had a successful playing career. Daniel was 1994 Mr. Basketball and earned MVP honors as the Golden Hurricane won the state title. He played college hoops at Colorado & Harding.