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|Daye named MSSU coach|
Daryl Daye is heading back to Joplin, Mo., with a new title.
Daye, the former defensive coordinator at Missouri Southern State University, was named head football coach for the Lions.
"I'm sure it helped that I worked there before," said Daye, who left Missour Southern to accept a coaching job with the Buffalo Bills. "I'm very familiar with the community, the administration and the conference (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association). I coached a lot of the guys on the team. I felt good about it."
Daye replaces Bart Tatum, who resigned after compiling a record of 25 and 39 over six seasons.
Daye has two games remaining as the assistant inside linebackers coach with the Buffalo Bills and the assistant to head coach Chan Gailey. But Daye will spend any spare time preparing for his new job at Missouri Southern.
"I'm still required to do my job here," Daye said. "It will be double duty for a little while. We need to hustle and get the best staff we can get and get some boots on the ground recruiting as fast as we can."
In 2008, the Lions led the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association in pass defense and junior LB Jared Brawner was an All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American selection after leading the conference in tackles (120)… the defense held opponents to 172 passing yards per game, posted 58 tackles for a loss, totaled 15 sacks and recovered all 15 fumbles the team forced
The Lions produced their first winning season for the first time in 12 years in 2007 and led the MIAA in defense for the first time in school history… Missouri Southern's defense ranked 21st nationally in total defense and broke a 17-year old Division II school record with 21 interceptions
Daye said he got the opportunity to apply for the Buffalo job because of his connections with former LSU linebacker coach Buddy Nix, who is General Manager of the Bills.
"I interviewed with Coach Gailey and got the job," Daye said. "Coach Gailey is a quality person and a quality coach. They were very supportive of my decision. I am really going to miss Coach Nix. I played for him (at LSU) in 1982 and he has really been special to me. Coach Gailey and Coach Nix have been mentors, for sure."
Nix said in a press release, "Congratulations to Daryl Daye for getting the head coaching job at Missouri Southern,.Daryl played for me at LSU. I've known him for years and he did a great job for us here with the Bills. Everybody liked him. He was the head coach at Nicholls for a few years and did a great job and he'll do a good job for Missouri Southern State, too."
Daye had a 19-36 record in five seasons at Nicholls of Division I-AA. The Colonels finished 5-6 in 2003, third in their conference.
"I had a great time at Nicholls and was around a great bunch of guys," Daye said. "That's what I want to develop here."
Daye was defensive coordinator at Missouri Southern from 2006-09.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be the new head football coach at Missouri Southern," he said. "I'm very much looking forward to the challenges and they opportunities ahead. My wife and I are both excited about moving back to the area, and I'm equally excited about working at an excellent university and a very high-quality administration."
Members of the search committee who reviewed more than 100 applications were Jared Bruggeman, athletics director; Al Cade, faculty athletics representative; Jim Frazier, former MSSU athletics director and football coach; Bruce Anderson, Lionbackers president; Bryce Darnell, baseball coach; Julie Wengert, associate AD for administration; Brandon Williams, football player; Darren Fullerton, vice president for student affairs; and Skip Hale, Lionbacker Steering Committee member.
"The search committee served as an advisory role," Bruggeman said. "Ultimately the decision lies in the athletics department. Their role was critical to weeding the process down, doing background checks, calling references on and off the list."
Daye said he also considered applying for the Liberty job when it became open. Daye coached five years at Liberty under legendary coach Sam Rutigliano.
The Flames hired former Nebraska quarterback and Kansas coach Turner Gill.
"I never interviewed for that job because this one popped open while I was considering it," Daye said. "I decided I had to concentrate all my efforts into this job and went ahead."
Daye cherishes his two seasons with the Bills, but he had a desire to return to the college level.
"When you get right down to it, sooner or later you have to be true to yourself," he said. "I've very much enjoyed my time up here (with the Bills). It's been a grand experience, the peak of the profession.
"Ultimately being true to myself, my vision and my personal goals are to make a difference in young men's lives and to train young men to be better people, better men, quality people. That's really the reasons I wanted to have another opportunity to be a head coach and to make a difference."
Daye did say there are things he learned at the pro level he will bring to the collegiate level.
"There are some great things about pro football," he said. "Everybody works together. From the custodian to the CEO, everybody is pulling in the same direction. I want to apply some of that here. It's all about making a difference and that's why I got into coaching."
One of the first tasks for Daye, who applied for the position two days after seeing the vacancy posted, is hiring a staff.
"I have guys in mind who I want to bring in for interviews," he said. "I want to talk to those guys there at Missouri Southern and give them an opportunity first. Then we will proceed on to the next stage.
"I want to get a veteran, proven defensive coordinator and a veteran, proven offensive coordinator. I'll coach the special teams, and we're going to hire a bunch of young, aggressive recruiters who are going to get out there and hustle and get us some talent.
"Loyalty is a big thing with me to when it comes to hiring coaches, so I'm going to hire guys that I know. I'll be hiring guys who are proven coaches in college and have experience in recruiting as well."
Daye doesn't think the Lions will be hurt by a late recruiting start.
"There are still a lot of players thinking they are going to go (to) bigger and better (schools)," he said. "They are thinking Alabama is still going to call, Missouri is still going to call. Reality usually hits them in the last two weeks, and that's usually your best two weeks of visitation I've found in my experiences. ... We'll be all right. We'll get out there and get it done."
Daye said the good thing about Divison II recruiting is a lot different.
"It goes until March so we can follow up on guys who didn't get signed," he said.
And as for his current players.
"I hope they have been doing their homework on and off the field and I'm anxious to see how much work they've done since the end of the season," he said. "Under my new title I think they will tend to listen to me a little more."
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