Coach’s Candor 03.23.2011


Phil Mcdaniels


Editor’s note: Phil McDaniel enters his first season SDSU head volleyball coach after Nanabah Allison-Brewer stepped down in January. We caught up with to discuss offseason workouts, next season’s outlook and coming back to Brookings.

Q. Are you excited to be back at SDSU?

A. Very excited. It’s only been three years, but there’s been a lot of change on campus and in the program. I wish we could start our season tomorrow.

Q. You’ve been on the job about three weeks now, what are your overall impressions of the program?

A. The players work hard. They come to practice with a positive mentality. They come into the gym and work hard every day. That’s certainly what we need to contend for the NCAA Tournament.

Q. How’s the offseason been going for you and the team?

A. It’s been going well so far. It’s only been three weeks, with a week of that being spring break. So now we’re going to get back in to things, and make a push to our competition portion of the spring. We’ll have a better feel for everything after we play our first tournament this weekend.

Q. You inherit a team that made it to the Summit League Tournament last year with many of the core players coming back. What are your expectations for the 2011 season?

A. I spoke about this when I came to interview with the team. I talked about our goal from day one, if I was to get the job here, would be to get ourselves to the Summit League Championship. Certainly we want to win that championship match, but our goal is to get there first, and let the chips fall where they may.

Q. While you were here as an assistant, you helped recruit Ellyce Youngren, Kelli Fiegen, and Emily Palmer. What are your thoughts on coming back to coach them after recruiting them?

A. It’s been great. I certainly got to know those players in a different way as I was recruiting them. I got to know them as an assistant coach. Now I get to come back and work with them as a head coach here. We have big plans for all three of them to help lead us back to the conference tournament.

Q. What kind of style can fans expect to see this fall when they come to Frost Arena?

A. I think they’ll be excited when they see it. It’s going to be a very explosive, offensive-based style. We’re going to dig a lot of balls, we’re going to block a lot of balls and we’re going to be very fast. It’s going to be up-tempo and it’s going to be something that, if you come out and watch once, I think you’ll be hooked. I think fans will really like the pace and they’ll really enjoy coming out and watching the team play.

Q. What are the keys to success this fall?

A. We need to be solid defensively. We need to be able to transition back in to our offense and stay in the system more often than not. It’s going to be about playing solid D, having a great pass, and then having the attackers up when they’re supposed to be up so they can put the ball away.

McDaniel’s Résumé

– Spent 2008-10 as head volleyball coach at Drake University.

– Has a 59-43 record as a head coach, including back-to-back 20-win seasons with the Bulldogs.

– From 2005-07, served as assistant coach at SDSU. The Jacks improved their record every year during that time span.

– Graduated from Culver-Stockton College in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.