(OhioStateBuckeyes.com) COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University and its football program lost a beloved member of its staff early Sunday morning when Joe Daniels passed away after battling illnesses for a number of years. He was 69.
Daniels spent 39 years in the coaching profession and more than 40 years in the sport as a coach and administrator, both on the collegiate and professional levels.
“What a great, great human being Joe Daniels was,” Bob Tucker, former Ohio State assistant coach and program administrator, said. “He was a wonderful father, coach and friend to so many people. Everyone in the coaching profession knew who Joe was and asked about Joe.”
Daniels joined the Ohio State staff in 2001. He coached quarterbacks and was the team’s passing game coordinator for eight seasons – through the 2009 spring drills – before moving into a personnel development position with the team before the start of the 2009 season.
“Joe had a positive impact on everyone he met,” Gene Smith, Ohio State Director of Athletics, said. “There are hundreds of former and current football players who are blessed because of the relationship they had with Joe. It was an honor to be in his presence and we thank him for what he gave Buckeye Nation while he was a coach and administrator. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife Kathy, son Matt, daughter Kaitlin, daughter-in-law Jenny and the entire Daniels family.”
Highly regarded on all levels as one of the outstanding teachers in the game, Daniels was instrumental in the development of many outstanding players, including 2006 Heisman Trophy winner and All-American Troy Smith. He also coached NFL standouts such as Ken O’Brien, Andre Reed, Ozzie Newsome and Dan Marino.
“The things that stand out to me were Joe’s sense of humor and the way he approached the last five years,” Jim Heacock, Ohio State defensive coordinator, said. “He was always upbeat. Everything was always good. He was an amazing man and you won’t find any better quality of person than Joe Daniels.”
Daniels, who had one grandson, Joseph, was from Bethel Park, Pa. He played running back for Slippery Rock University before graduating in 1964 with a degree in physical education. His coaching career included collegiate positions with Boston College, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Ohio State, and professional coaching positions with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
“Joe coached at many places,” Jim Bollman, Ohio State offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, said, “and there were many, many players throughout his time who have been affected by him. And many of them have reached out and called him these last few months, from the Dan Marinos on down, just to touch base with their former coach.
“That’s because he was such a great man, and a wonderful family man. His family was very precious to him, and I feel fortunate to have gotten to know them.
“Joe was just the best. He always had a kind word for everybody. He was a very patient man, and someone who was fun to be around every day.”