"I am excited that Mia is coming back," said Mike Jones, HPU director of athletics. "She was such a tremendous part of HPU women's basketball then and will certainly be again as she returns to assist Coach Prock. She is a great young lady and we all look forward to having her back on campus."
Meia Daniels returns to Howard Payne after spending two seasons as the women's basketball graduate assistant at Wayne State College (NE) with former HPU head coach Chris Kielsmeier. She helped guide the Wayne State program to a NSIC Conference Championship in 2010 and now intends to do all she can to continue the Lady Jackets' tradition.
"I always want the program (HPU) to keep winning," Daniels said. "As a coach, I want to find players I can help mold and make better than I was. That's what I'm shooting for."
At Wayne State, she was an integral part of recruiting high school and junior college players throughout the U.S., helping plan and coordinate practices as well as planning and organizing the team's travel arrangements. After graduating in 2010 with a Master of Science in Organizational Management, Meia has recently worked as a part-time teacher in Wichita, Kansas for the past several months.
"We are excited to have Meia come back home to HPU," said Joshua Prock, Howard Payne head women's basketball coach. "Meia has a great history with the university and will be someone who we are confident will represent the university on and off the court in a first class manner."
As a player at HPU, Daniels was 109-12 over four seasons leading the Lady Jackets to three American Southwest Conference championships, four NCAA III national tournament appearances and a NCAA III National Championship in 2008. Daniels holds numerous HPU and ASC records and is second in career scoring at Howard Payne with 2,118 points.
"Since I played here, I've been where the girls are and I can understand and know where they're coming from," Daniels said. "I've been in their shoes, I went to school there, graduated and made it through. I think that will make things a little easier and they'll respect me a lot more because I've been in the same situation."
Multiple All-Conference selections, twice named ASC Tournament MVP, two-time Regional Player of the Year, two-time All-American and National Player of the Year are among of the numerous honors Daniels received as a player at Howard Payne.
Prock added, "To be able to have someone who was the national player of the year and helped lead her team to a national title as part of your coaching staff will be a huge addition in so many areas. Meia will be able to jump in from day one and be ready to go. She already knows a lot about the ins and outs of HPU. The players and myself are extremely thrilled to have her back and we all can't wait to get started working with her."
Daniels graduated from Howard Payne in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. She will start her duties as assistant women's basketball and join the Howard Payne coaching staff in mid-May.