After a little less than four years of service, Mike Daniels leaves his alma mater Princeton, where he was the head football coach. The 2003 graduate was a Princeton legend as a gamer and later played at the University of Cincinnati between 2003 and 2007.
Daniels took a recruiting job at Army Football.
At Princeton, Daniels broke records as a player and earned a plaque in the Princeton Hall of Fame. As a quarterback, he was Enquirer Player of the Year in 2002. That season he threw 2,569 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 1,387 and 24 points, which made the First Team All-State.
With the Bearcats he was a running back, receiver and return specialist. After briefly working with UC alumni, he followed former Brian Kelly assistant Jeff Quinn to Buffalo. From there, he worked at Statesboro High in Georgia and Kennesaw State before returning in 2017 to take over the Princeton Vikings.
“What a great time to be a Viking,” Daniels said in March 2017. “This is my dream job.”
Even so, the college game called again after four seasons of preparation. Daniels had been a candidate for the running backs job at Cincinnati and had recently served the Bengals on the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
When West Point called, Daniels answered.
“I’m very excited,” said Daniels. “This is one of the best institutions in the world.”
As a player, Daniels had two receptions in UC’s 33:29 win at Nippert against Army in 2003 under Rick Minter. The following year, the Bearcats under Mark Dantonio lost 49-28 at Michie Stadium at West Point, and Daniels got a few carries.
When Princeton hired Daniels, he held school records in passing yards, passing attempts, one-game touchdown passes, one-game touchdowns, season pass attempts, season finals, total passing yards, one-season touchdowns thrown, one-season touchdowns scored, and Single season yards won.
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Princeton sporting director Joe Roberts allowed Daniels to reach out to his team, which stood 6-2 in the shortened coronavirus season. He was 4-6 in his first season, 3-7 in 2018, and 6-5 in 2019 when the Vikings boasted three of the top 10 recruits in the region, including No. 1, Paris Johnson, now im State of Ohio. That team also had Darrion Henry-Young of the Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Jaheim Thomas.
Roberts is ready to attract the next trainer with top facilities, top talent, and a top conference (GMC) full of tough competition.
“We’ll leave as soon as possible,” said Roberts. “The position is now advertised and we are moving as quickly as possible to identify our next head coach.”
The new head coach will lead the Vikings against Anderson on August 19th.