|Updated: 5/29/2012 2:10 pm
||Published: 5/29/2012 2:09 pm
CONWAY, AR — Matt Daniel, who guided the Central Arkansas women's basketball program to a Southland Conference championship in 2012 and three straight 20-win seasons, has stepped down as the Sugar Bears' head coach to take over the program at Marshall University.
"We are happy for Coach Daniel," said Dr. Brad Teague, UCA Director of Athletics. "He has placed our program in a great position. He will do well at Marshall. We have great interest in our program and expect to move quickly in our search for the new Head Women's Basketball Coach. We will hire someone with the same principles and ideals which our staff and coaches employ. We have a great team of coaches and this new hire will be in the same mold."
Daniel, who was 72-50 in four years at UCA, was 66-27 during the last three seasons while hitting the 21-win mark each year – the first time a Southland team had done so since 2002. He was twice named the league's Coach of the Year – earning the award this past season after the Sugar Bears went 14-2 in conference play for their first Division I conference championship; and in 2010 after orchestrating a 15-win improvement from the previous season – the nation's biggest turnaround that year and the biggest in Southland history at the time.
During his time in Conway, Daniel was instrumental in turning the UCA program into one of the nation's top mid-major programs, as the Sugar Bears climbed as high as No. 11 in the Mid-Major Top 25 this season and scored victories over teams from the SEC and Big 10.
At Marshall, Daniel succeeds Royce Chadwick, who was recently named the head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi following an 11-year stint with the Thundering Herd in which he went 161-169.