Boys basketball: Former South Charleston star Josh Daniel named Hoover coach
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Josh Daniel made a name for himself in the West Virginia high school basketball circles as a standout player at South Charleston from 2002 to 2006.
Now the 25-year old Eastern Kentucky graduate hopes to do the same as a first-year head boys basketball coach at Herbert Hoover.
Daniel takes over for Jeff Gandee, who guided the Huskies' program for four seasons, including a 16-11 record last season.
"I'm really excited to be a head coach," Daniel said. "This is something I've wanted to do ever since I was done playing. My goal was to become a head coach and I'm fortunate to become one at such a young age.
"When I was offered the position I couldn't turn it down, so I just jumped at it."
While at South Charleston, Daniel set the Black Eagles' school career scoring record with 1,660 points in 92 games (18 ppg), breaking the record held by Gay Elmore.
As a senior in 2005-06, Daniel averaged 29.9 points and had 54 3-pointers in finishing second in the voting for the Evans Award, given to the state's best basketball player.
After the conclusion of his prep career, Daniel played four seasons for the Colonels, participating in 127 games, with 33 starts.
Daniel played for former John Beilein assistant Jeff Neubauer at Eastern Kentucky and hopes to bring his own variation of Beilein's offense to the Huskies' program.
"I'll try to bring a version of that with me," Daniel said. "We'll run a simple version of that by spreading the floor and shooting threes. We'll also be a smart team and play hard on both ends of the floor."
Daniel, who's also in his first season as a teacher at Hoover, has spent the first two months of the school year getting to know his new team.
"I didn't know much about them at first but we've been lifting weights, having open gym and playing in a Poca league on Sundays," Daniel said. "I'm starting to get familiar with the kids. We've got some kids playing football and some playing soccer, but once we have everyone together, we have a chance to be pretty good."
Hoover Athletic Director Jerry Legg hopes the Daniel can build a program and stick around long enough to enjoy it.
"Josh was a very good high school basketball player and had a good college career," Legg said. "We were looking for someone young to come in and take over and someone that will take the job, keep it for a while and build a program."
That's what Daniel hopes to do.
"I definitely hope to start building a program," Daniel said. "I know Hoover is not really known for basketball, so we want to keep the kids working hard in and out of the season and build a basketball culture here."