BROWNWOOD, Texas - Howard Payne University athletics today announced that former NCAA III National Player of the Year and current women's assistant basketball coach Meia Daniels will take over the reins of the HPU women's basketball program.
Meia Daniels, who has served as an assistant coach last season for Howard Payne, will take over a Lady Jacket program that has had 10 consecutive 20-win seasons and posted fourth American Southwest Conference West Division titles in the past seven years.
"We are pleased to be able to promote Meia Daniels to our head coaching position as well as our Senior Woman Administrator (SWA)," said Howard Payne Director of Athletics Mike Jones. "She has been mentored by two outstanding coaches in Chris Kielsmeier and Josh Prock and was a great collegiate player. She knows how to win and how hard you have to work to be successful at this level. These experiences will serve her well as she enters this new phase of her career."
As a player, 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. A 2008 graduate of Howard Payne, Daniels holds numerous HPU and ASC records and is second in career scoring at Howard Payne with 2,118 points.
"I am very excited about being the head women's basketball coach here at Howard Payne University," said Meia Daniels. "I feel that Howard Payne has been a blessing to me ever since the day I decided to play here nine years ago. Now that I have the opportunity to lead the program it is a great feeling."
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.
After leaving HPU, Daniels spent 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.
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.
Daniels will now also serve as the Senior Woman Administrator on the HPU athletics staff. Daniels will act as a liaison for women athletes and staff to HPU athletic administration, American Southwest Conference and the NCAA. She will also represent HPU at ASC and NCAA meetings and functions as needed.
Along with her regular duties as the head women's basketball coach, Meia will assist in administrative duties within the athletic department and be a liaison with HPU Student Life and Resident Life on student-athlete welfare, discipline issues and on-campus living arrangements.
Daniels graduated from Howard Payne in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. She continued on and completed a Master of Science in Organizational Management from Wayne State College (NE) in 2010.
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