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Lincoln football program looking for new coach as Daniels leaves for college analyst job

Posted at 3:15 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 23:35:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — For the second time in a year, the Lincoln High School football program is looking for a new head coach.

Lincoln Athletic Director Joe Vallese confirmed with ABC 27 Friday that first year head coach BJ Daniels accepted a position with the University of South Florida, his alma mater, as a quarterback analyst.

Vallese said he plans to meet with Lincoln principal Allen Burch next week to discuss a game plan for hiring a new head coach. He said ideally, they’d like to have someone in place by mid-February.

Daniels, who was hired in May of 2020, replaced Quinn Gray, who took a position with Alcorn State last spring.

ABC 27 spoke with Daniels on Friday, who said his job at USF begins on Wednesday. He said his goal was to always return to Tampa and contribute to his alma mater, but he never thought it would happen this fast.

"When I took the Lincoln job, I had all the intentions of being there for a while or a couple years and continue to contribute to the Lincoln High School football program," he said. "In less than a year, there was a quarterback analyst job opened, it was offered, and I accepted."

Daniels said telling his athletes he was leaving Lincoln was tough.

"I'm so thankful they bought into a new coach and a coach who was 31 years old and a coach who'd never been a coach before," he said. "They respected the things that I said, they listened and they bought in and we were able to have a successful season given everything going on in the world and everything going on with COVID. I'm following my hopes and dreams as well as I hope they all do in their next opportunity whether that be college, professionally, sports or in the academic world."

The Trojans went 6-2 in 2020, falling to Atlantic Coast in the Regional Quarterfinals. Vallese said Lincoln’s football record speaks for themselves and that he isn’t worried about finding someone to replace Daniels.