Daniels’ coaching dreams come true

Daniels’ coaching dreams come true
December 10
00:00 2015
Photo by Tevin Stinson
Richard Daniels always dreamed of becoming a head coach. Earlier this year, his dream came true when he was named the head coach of the junior varsity team at Glenn High School.

Well before he was named the Junior Varsity head basketball coach at Glenn High School Richard Daniels Jr. knew coaching was in his future.

“I’ve always dreamed of becoming a head coach,” said Daniels. “So when the position opened ahead of the season, I jumped at the opportunity.”

According to Daniels, varsity head coach Monty Gray approached him with the opportunity earlier this year. He said he knew it was his chance to fulfill one of his many dreams.

Before being named the head coach, Daniels was an assistant coach for the varsity team and local AAU teams. What makes Daniels stand out among other coaches in the area is his recent playing experience.

From 2010 until 2014, Daniels was a key contributor at Johnson C. Smith University, where he played point guard for the Golden Bulls. The team competes in the Collegiate Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) conference.

Before taking his talents to Charlotte, Daniels made a name for himself as a two-sport athlete at Carver High School. During his senior season on the court, he averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. He also led the Yellow Jackets to the fourth round of the state playoffs.

Following a recent practice, Daniels mentioned that being a younger coach, not far removed from his playing days, helps him connect with his players.

“Because I’m younger, I can relate more to the players and I believe they are willing to listen more as well,” he continued. “A lot of other coaches are coming from a different time period and aren’t able to adapt to their players.”

Daniels credits his ability to keep a level head as another way he is able to connect with his players.

Having a smaller coach-to-player age gap, and staying calm in tough situations may give Daniels a slight advantage but, he admits, the high school game has changed drastically since he last played.

“I think it’s more of a finesse game now,” he said. “When I was playing, you had those scrappy players who worked hard every day and there was always competition, even in practice.

“The game of basket-ball is always changing. These days, it seems like it’s more of a show.”

Although every head coach at all levels of the sport is expected to win games, Daniels said after playing for coaches such as his father, Richard Daniels Sr., and Daniel Piggot Jr., he understands that being a coach is about much more than basketball and winning games.

“Being a coach is not just about winning and losing. It’s about setting an example and impacting the lives of the student athletes,” he continued. “I had the opportunity to play for some amazing coaches who had a major impact on my life, including my dad, my AAU coaches and, of course, my high school coach.

“They were all big influences on my life. I know if they can impact my life in such a major way, I can impact the lives of some kids as well, and make a difference.”

Daniel Piggot Jr. is now the assistant athletic director at Carver. Piggot said he has no doubt Daniels will be successful as a coach.

“Even as a player, Richard showed he had the qualities to be a head coach at the high school level,” he continued. “He was always a leader on and off the court. It always makes me proud to see my former players go out and fulfill their dreams.

“I know Richard will do an amazing job with the young men over at Glenn.”

After starting the sea-son 0-2, Daniels is still looking to earn his first vic-tory as a head coach. He is confident the team will turn things around and get on the right track before conference games begin in January.

“To turn this season around we just have to cut down on the mental mis-takes,” he said. “That will come in time, we have a lot of talent on this team now we just have to put it all together.”


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