Mike Daniels had gotten some work coaching at the collegiate level after being part of the rise of Cincinnati Bearcats football as a player under Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly.
Daniels then returned his roots, working with prep standouts in the Cincinnati-area and coaching at his high school alma mater, Princeton.
After a brief cup of coffee as a recruiting director at Army West Point, Daniels – named in FootballScoop's 2020-21 Minority Coaches Watch list after being nominated by his peers – is returned to coaching at the collegiate level.
Daniels is the new running backs coach at Akron, where former Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback and one-time Chattanooga head coach Tom Arth is trying to revitalize the Zips program, sources confirmed to FootballScoop.
Daniels coached multiple all-state prep standouts in the Queen City, including former high school All-America selection Paris Johnson, a key member of the Ohio State offensive line during the Buckeyes' 2020 College Football Playoffs run. Daniels has been a well-connected, popular coach among his high school peers in Ohio and can be an asset to Akron in that regard.
He also had previously coached at FCS program Kennesaw State and at Buffalo in the early days of his career, which he started with a graduate assistant position at Cincinnati.
At Akron, Daniels replaces previous running backs coach Jayden Everett, recently hired away to coach running backs at Tulsa.
The Zips have struggled in their rebuild under Arth, winning just one game since his arrival atop the program prior to the 2019 season.
However, Akron has no shortage of opportunities to show marked improvement in 2021. The Zips open their season at Auburn, under new coach Bryan Harsin, and also have early games against Temple, Ohio State and rival Ohio in the first five weeks of the season.
As always, stay tuned The Scoop for the latest news.