June 12, 2013
"I am extremely excited to have Derrick Daniels back on our staff, as he was here during my very first year as a head coach," Cross said. "He was on our staff when our 2008 team played in the NCAA Tournament, when we won a Southland Conference championship and broke a school record by winning 24 games during the 2011-2012 season."
Daniels initially came to UT Arlington after serving as an athletic director for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth and the coach of the Fort Worth M.A.S.H. AAU boys basketball team. One of the most heralded high school players in the country, Daniels was rated the No. 2 point guard in 1988 behind only NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson. He still holds the national high school record by handing out 1,379 assists.
He was named the 1988 Gatorade Circle of Champions Texas basketball Player of the Year and a third team All-American by Street and Smith's in leading Dunbar High School to a 34-2 record and the Class 5A State Final. DHS advanced past the semis as Daniels hit the game-winning 3-pointer to defeat Dallas South Oak Cliff. He averaged 18 points and 11 assists as a senior after averaging 12 points and 13 assists as a junior.
Daniels signed with the University of Houston and started all 124 games, and at the time, joined Clyde Drexler and Craig Upchurch as the only players to start every game as a freshman. Daniels set a UH freshman assist record in earning honorable mention All-America honors from the Basketball Times and was named to the Associated Press Southwest Conference all-newcomer team.
As a junior, Daniels poured in a career-high 33 points and dished out a season-best 10 assists in an 80-73 victory over Rice. He dished out a career-best 16 assists against the Owls, which ranks second on the single-game assist list at UH. He also returned to his last-second heroics that season as he nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to defeat St. Louis, 85-84, and hit another 3-pointer from just left of the key to defeat Texas A&M, 71-68.
Daniels finished his career with 1,087 points and 711 assists in leading the team to two NCAA tournaments and one NIT appearance. He led the Southwest Conference in assists as a junior after ranking in the top three in each of his first two seasons. His 711 career assists rank him fourth on the SWC all-time playmakers list. Daniels' still ranks highly on the all-time lists at UH as he ranks third on the all-time list in assists, third in three-pointers made (168), third in minutes played (4,065) and tied for seventh with 124 games played.
Daniels played for the Milwaukee Bucks rookie free agent summer league team before signing on with the Rochester Renegades of the CBA in 1993. A native of Fort Worth, Daniels graduated from Texas Wesleyan in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in exercise and sports studies. Daniels and his wife, Robbie, were married in August of 2009.
Daniels will handle all operational tasks for the team, as well as working with the point guards to start the 2013-14 season in the Sun Belt Conference.
"Derrick is one of the best and most respected point guards to ever play high school or college basketball," Cross said. "He will be an excellent mentor to all of our players, especially our point guards, for that very reason. Derrick is one of the most loyal guys that I have ever been around, and I feel very fortunate to have him back on our staff."
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