TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — After a month long search for a new head football coach, the Lincoln Trojans have their guy. Lincoln alum BJ Daniels was announced as the Trojans new football coach Sunday, a hire athletic director Joe Vallese is excited about.
WTXL spoke with Vallese Sunday, who said he thinks Daniels has the highest ceiling. People may question the fact that Daniels has no head coaching experience, but he said the top three candidates only had one year between them.
Vallese said over forty people applied for the job. Daniels was one of the original applicants. Daniels played for the University of South Florida, and has been the last eight years playing professional football. After retiring from the NFL in 2018, where he won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, he has helped coached quarterbacks at Leon High School as well as train several athletes across the Big Bend. He also played in the CFL, the AAF and most recently, the XFL with the Seattle Dragons.
Vallese added while all the other candidates were well qualified, he liked Daniels "big league" experience with football. He said Daniels is one of the smartest guys he's ever talked to, and he surrounds himself with good people.
He said Daniels accepted the job on Saturday, and had a Zoom meeting with the current Lincoln players Sunday. He said Daniels will meet with the current staff this week, and Vallese expects most of them to stay on staff.
Daniels said his goal after he finished playing was always to coach. Given the current pandemic, his career ended a little earlier than planned, but he said he couldn't be more excited to get his start at Lincoln High School.
"With the coronavirus situation and the fact that when I was with the XFL it closed down a lot of sports," said Daniels, "it definitely forced my hand a little bit to pursue the career and the dream that I wanted to do. Coaching is that dream and that goal. This is the first step for what I want to do and that is continue to give back and encourage the young student athletes here at Lincoln High School. Just to do what I can to give all the knowledge and information I've accumulated over my entire career and just pass it along."
Daniels said over the next few weeks they'll prepare for when the Trojans can return to campus to work out. He has talked to them over Zoom, but said he's ready to meet them all face to face.
Daniels starts immediately, and will on staff as a teacher in some capacity at Lincoln High School.