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Princeton head football coach Mike Daniels accepts recruiting job for Army West Point football

Mike Daniels.jpg
Posted at 3:01 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 15:51:29-05

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Princeton head football coach Mike Daniels will be the new director of on-campus recruiting for the Army West Point football program, he told WCPO Tuesday.

"To be able to go to an institution that is one of the finest in the world is special," Daniels said. "You're talking about a kid that grew up in the Lincoln Heights area. To be able to go and put myself in a situation, scenario like West Point is amazing. Talk about discipline, honor and just being leaders of the world; I'm very excited about that opportunity."

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He expects to start his new position in early March.

Daniels, a former University of Cincinnati and Princeton High School football standout, coached the Vikings for four seasons after accepting the head coaching position in March 2017.

Princeton had a 6-2 overall record including 6-1 in the Greater Miami Conference during its last season. The Vikings were 6-5 in 2019, when they reached the postseason for the first time since 2007.

"We got it back to where Princeton is a great destination for premier student-athletes," Daniels said. "That's probably the thing I'm most proud of."

The GMC formed in 1966. Fifty-three years later, in 2019, Daniels became the first Black head coach to make the playoffs in the GMC, according to WCPO's Reggie Wilson.

Daniels, a 2003 Princeton graduate and member of the school's athletics hall of fame, said the high school will always be with him personally and professionally.

He said he enjoyed being able to engage the community and the tradition of Princeton athletics, and Princeton's next head coach will inherit a talented team.

"Whoever it is, it's going to be a team that is ready to go win now," Daniels said. "I'm very excited for whoever that is."

Princeton athletic director Joe Roberts told WCPO the school will begin its search for the next head coach immediately.

Daniels received national recognition for his coaching resume during his time at Princeton, where he instructed some high-profile college recruits.

He was named Football Scoop's 2020-21 Minority Coaches Watch List in early December and participated in the 2020 NFL Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Cincinnati Bengals last summer, among other internships in the NFL.

He also previously coached at UC, Kennesaw State and Buffalo prior to Princeton. He spent three seasons (2011-13) at Statesboro High School in Georgia.

It was at Kennesaw State where he connected with some coaching colleagues who are now on Army's staff.

Daniels said he's looking forward to enhancing Army's on-campus recruiting experience.

"I'm excited about the opportunity, I really am," he said.

As a football player, Daniels was a four-year letterwinner at UC (2003-07) where he was a triple threat as a wide receiver, running back and returner.

He served as the team captain and earned the Jim Kelly Spirit Award in 2007 under then-head coach Brian Kelly.

A 2013 Princeton Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Daniels was named the 2002 Ohio Division I state offensive player of the year, according to Princeton.