Coach Daniels Resigns to Take UCLA Post Apr. 18, 2003 Fullerton, Calif.
Donny Daniels, who has been the men's head basketball coach
at CS Fullerton for the last three seasons, will join the UCLA men's basketball
program as an assistant coach, new Bruin head mentor Ben Howland announced
"I'm elated that Donny Daniels has accepted the position to be an
assistant coach for our UCLA basketball program," Howland said. "He
has a distinguished and highly-impressive background. Donny is from southern
California and played at local high school power Verbum Dei. He then played
for and worked with George McQuarn at Cal State Fullerton. I have great
respect for George as a coach and Donny learned a lot from him.
"Donny then was a long-time assistant at Utah under Rick Majerus
and I regard Rick as one of the great teachers and coaches in all of basketball.
Donny's experience as a head coach and running his own program will be
invaluable to help us build our UCLA program. Donny Daniels has a plethora
of talents - from recruiting, to coaching on the floor, to game preparation.
In all aspects of dealing with young student-athletes and helping them
grow, Donny has continually stressed his players' academic advancement
and of course, helping them develop into great basketball players."
"I've known Ben for a long time, " Daniels said, "going
back to our days as assistant coaches when he was at UCSB and I was at
Utah. As his friend, it's been great to watch Ben's rise through the coaching
ranks, culminating with his head coaching position at UCLA.
"When this opportunity presented itself, I was eager, pleased and
excited to accept it. I look forward to working with Coach Howland as
a member of his coaching staff at UCLA"
Last season (2002-03) was Daniels' third year as
the head coach at CS Fullerton, his alma mater. After winning just 10
games in his first two seasons (Daniels inherited a Titan program that
was on NCAA probation), his CS Fullerton squad doubled its victories (10)
last season, including an 8-10 Big West record, despite a rash of serious
injuries that affected all five returning lettermen. Suiting up as few
as seven or eight players for several midseason games, Fullerton had its
best conference record in 10 years and reached double figures in victories
for the first time in four years. The Titans beat every Big West opponent
except tournament champion Utah State.
"I'm very pleased for Donny, but it's a huge loss for us," said
Fullerton Athletic Director Brian Quinn. "I understand the opportunity
for him, a Los Angeles guy, to go to UCLA, one of the top programs in
"I have never worked with a coach that I enjoyed more. He's an outstanding
coach. We were very fortunate to have him. He will be a marvelous addition
to the UCLA staff.
"This comes as a complete surprise, given that we had just renewed
his contract through 2004-05. We are working with the president (Dr. Milton
Gordon) and the vice-president (Dr. Robert Palmer) to strategize the hiring
of a new coach.
"We hope to make it a swift but complete process. Ideally, we will
find a proven winner who has had success at the Div. I level. The new
coach must have demonstrated a deep commitment to academics and have had
success in graduating student-athletes at a high rate."