THE FLATS – Mike Daniels, who helped the University at Buffalo rank among the nation’s top-30 rushing offenses in 2021, has been named the new running backs coach at Georgia Tech, head coach Geoff Collins announced on Monday.“I’m thrilled to add Mike Daniels to our staff as running backs coach,” Collins said. “He has put his players in positions for great success everywhere that he has coached, and I’m looking forward to him doing the same with our talented group of running backs here on The Flats. I’m excited to welcome Mike, Monica and their children to the Georgia Tech football family.”
Called “fast-rising” and “well-regarded” by Football Scoop, Daniels brings a wide range of experience and a plethora of prior success with him to The Flats. Most recently, he served as the running backs coach at Buffalo, where the Bulls ranked 29th nationally in rushing offense with 195.4 yards per game in 2021. Three UB running backs – Dylan McDuffie, Ron Cook Jr. and Kevin Marks Jr. – ran for at least 400 yards each and combined for 1,903 rushing yards, 2,283 total yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns on the season. Leading the way was McDuffie, who rushed for 1,049 yards and 11 touchdowns under Daniels’ tutelage in ’21.
Prior to his arrival at Buffalo, Daniels spent four seasons as the head coach at Princeton H.S. in Cincinnati. At Princeton (his alma mater), Daniels helped turn around a program that had not made the state playoffs since 2007, compiling a 12-7 overall record in 2019 and 2020 and, in ’19, leading the Vikings to their first postseason berth in 14 years.
From 2011-16, Daniels was in Georgia, first as the running backs coach (2011-12) and offensive coordinator (2013) at Statesboro H.S., then as wide receivers coach at Kennesaw State (2014-16). While at Statesboro, he helped lead the Blue Devils to a three-year record of 28-6 and three-straight state playoff appearances. He arrived at Kennesaw State and coached and recruited through a practice-only season in 2014, before helping lead the Owls to a 14-8 record over their first two seasons in 2015 and ’16. Despite operating in a run-heavy, option-based offense at KSU, Daniels helped the Owls average 136.8 and 158.9 receiving yards per game in his two seasons with the program.
Daniels’ coaching career started as tight ends coach at Alcorn State from December 2007-June 2008. He then moved to his alma mater, Cincinnati, where he was a graduate assistant under current LSU head coach Brian Kelly in 2008 and ’09. In his two seasons as a G.A., he helped lead the Bearcats to consecutive Big East championships and New Year’s Day bowl games (2009 Orange Bowl and 2010 Sugar Bowl), including a 12-0 regular season in 2009.
From Cincinnati, he went to Buffalo for his first stint as the Bulls’ running backs coach in 2010.
His coaching career also includes time with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020 as part of the National Football League’s Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
Daniels was a four-year letterwinner as a running back and wide receiver under head coaches Mark Dantonio and Kelly at Cincinnati from 2003-05 and 2007 (redshirted in 2006). He served as a team captain and earned UC’s Jim Kelly Spirit Award as a senior in 2007. A multi-year member of the Bearcats’ Academic Honor Roll, Daniels earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cincinnati in 2007.
Daniels and his wife, Monica, have two children: a son, Paris Johnson Jr., an offensive lineman at Ohio State, and a daughter, Sydney Johnson.
THE MIKE DANIELS FILE
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Family: Wife: Monica; Children: Paris Johnson Jr. and Sydney Johnson
Alma Mater: Cincinnati, 2007
Playing Experience (RB/WR)
2008: Alcorn State (tight ends)
2008-09: Cincinnati (graduate assistant)
2010: Buffalo (running backs)
2011-12: Statesboro (Ga.) H.S. (running backs)
2013: Statesboro (Ga.) H.S. (offensive coordinator)
2014-16: Kennesaw State (wide receivers)
2017-20: Princeton (Ohio) H.S. (head coach)
2021: Buffalo (running backs/recruiting coordinator)
2022-: Georgia Tech (running backs)