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Date Posted: Sun, February 20 2005, 14:32:18
Subject: Former Assistant Coach Update
Daniel headed to Colorado
By Kevin Turbeville
Sun sports editor
Matt Daniel is making his latest move with a career objective in mind.
Daniel, a former Jonesboro High School standout, wants to become a Division I head basketball coach as soon as possible. With that in mind, Daniel said he has accepted an offer to become an assistant women’s coach at the University of Colorado.
At CU, Daniel will work under Ceal Barry, who has a 501-265 record in 25 seasons as a head coach and is 418-223 in 21 seasons with the Buffaloes.
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s not too often that the chance comes along to coach under a legendary coach and not only that, she pursued me, which is very flattering to me,” Daniel said Tuesday afternoon. “I didn’t even have to interview for the job. She offered it last night and I accepted.”
Daniel said he resigned Tuesday morning as head boys’ basketball coach at Pulaski Academy, which he led to a 34-1 record in his first season as head coach. The Bruins reached the Class AAA state semifinals before losing to eventual champion East Poinsett County.
The CU job won’t be Daniel’s first on the college level. He spent four seasons as a men’s assistant coach at Texas-Arlington and also served as a graduate assistant at Arizona State.
It will be the first time Daniel has worked with a women’s team, though he said he occasionally worked out with some of UTA’s women’s players during the summer.
“Basketball is basketball. Everybody is asking, ‘How do you feel about coaching women’s basketball?’” Daniel said. “I said, ‘Well, there’s only one way to find out and that’s what I’m going to do.’”
CU announced the resignation of assistant coach Ron Burgin on Tuesday. Daniel said he won’t officially start his duties for a couple of weeks.
A 1994 JHS graduate, Daniel started his college career at Colorado. He became the first freshman in CU history to start a postseason game when the Buffaloes played in the 1995 NIT.
During his two seasons as a player at Colorado, Daniel said he got to know Barry.
“She and I just kind of gravitated to each other, so much so that I would stay after practice or come in a little early and watch them,” Daniel said. “Her basketball IQ is very, very high. I know I have a lot to learn about the game and I’m anxious to do so.”
Daniel was MVP of the 1994 state tournament in leading JHS to the Class AAAA championship. He finished his playing career at Harding, then went into coaching.
David Daniel, Matt’s father, recently finished his first season as a men’s assistant coach at Arkansas State. Younger brother Josh played at UTA when Matt Daniel was an assistant there and is working for a brokerage firm in Little Rock.
CU said Burgin was resigning to pursue head coaching interests. Daniel said Burgin’s two predecessors at CU both moved on to head coaching jobs.
“I would like to be a head coach (in Division I) as soon as possible,” Daniel said. “This is the best opportunity to do that at this time.”
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