The all-time winningest coach in Ferris State’s history,
Bob Daniels enters his 22nd season behind the
Bulldog bench in the 2013-14 season.
Two seasons ago, Daniels claimed CCHA and National Coach of the Year accolades for the second time in his career after leading the Bulldogs to the program’s second-ever league regular-season championship and a historic first-ever trip to the Frozen Four where FSU reached the national championship game.
Ferris State has placed fifth or higher four times in the last five seasons of league competition, including the 2011-12 title run.
The 2002-03 CCHA Coach of the Year Award recipient and a two-time (2007-08 and 2009-10) award finalist, Daniels attained another milestone in his distinguished coaching career by recording his 300th career win following a 4-1 decision at Bowling Green midway through the 2010-11 season.
Daniels was tabbed a finalist for the 2009-10 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Coach of the Year Award and directed Ferris State to a 21-13-6 overall record and a third-place finish in the regular-season league standings. The Bulldogs also concluded the campaign ranked among the top 15 teams in all three national collegiate hockey polls.
Five years ago, Daniels was chosen as one of three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA Coach of the Year Award. He not only lead Ferris State to an 18-16-5 overall record in 2007-08, but a fifth-place league finish and an appearance in the quarterfinal round of the CCHA Tournament.
Under Daniels' guidance, Ferris State turned in one of its best performances ever in the program's NCAA Division I history for the 2002-03 campaign with a school-best 31-10-1 overall record. The Bulldogs also claimed their first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title with a first-place 22-5-1 league mark and advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament's West Regional title game in their initial NCAA Tourney appearance. FSU also earned the distinction of being the nation's first team to reach the 30-win plateau in 2002-03 and also competed in the CCHA Super Six Championship Tourney for the first time since 1993.
For his efforts, Daniels was also honored as the 2002-03 Coach of the Year by both Inside College Hockey (INCH) and the March of Dimes West Michigan Sports Awards. Prior to receiving those accolades, Daniels was the unanimous choice as the CCHA's Coach of the Year as voted on by the league's head coaches.One of the crowning highlights in Daniels' coaching career occurred April 17, 2003, when he was selected the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the AHCA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Through his competitive desire and tireless work ethic over the last decade, Daniels has established a great deal of respect on both the conference and national levels. He was appointed FSU's head coach on the eve of the 1992-93 season and led the Bulldogs to 21 victories and a CCHA Tournament Semifinal berth. At the time, the accomplishment signified only the fourth time a Ferris team had won 20 games in a season and the second time in which a first-year coach won more than 16 games at FSU.
Since his arrival at Ferris State, Daniels has reached several milestones. He registered his 100th career victory March 6, 1999, in the 1998-99 regular season finale on the home ice of his alma mater, Michigan State University, as the Bulldogs recorded a 2-1 win. His school record-setting 120th victory occurred March 4, 2000, as Ferris posted a 7-0 shutout at Western Michigan University in the regular-season finale. Daniels claimed his 200th win on Dec. 4, 2004 as the Bulldogs skated to a 6-2 home decision over Western Michigan. The Bulldog head coach reached another milestone in his distinguished coaching career on Jan. 7, 2011 by claiming his 300th career win in a 4-1 league decision at Bowling Green State.
Having the longest tenure of any FSU hockey coach, Daniels has coached 10 All-Americans during his coaching career at Ferris, including 2002-03 Hobey Baker Hat Trick Award finalist and FSU's first-ever CCHA Player of the Year Chris Kunitz.
Daniels has built a national reputation for his intense knowledge of the game and no-nonsense coaching style. In the summer of 1994, he served as head coach at the United States Olympic Festival in St. Louis, Mo., coaching Team West to a bronze medal finish. He has also assisted with the U.S. Junior National Team in competition against teams from Canada, Sweden and Russia.
From 1989-92, Daniels was an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. He first joined the FSU staff in 1989-90 as an assistant to John Perpich and coached under Bob Mancini from 1990-92. A few years earlier, Daniels broke into the CCHA as an assistant at the University of Illinois-Chicago (1987-89) and helped the Flames secure a third-place CCHA finish in 1988-89.
Daniels was a three-time Coach of the Year in the North America Junior Hockey League (1983-86) for the Hennessey Engineers.
Daniels received his bachelor of arts in accounting in 1982 from Michigan State. He holds a master's in sports organization from Miami (Ohio) University and was a graduate assistant coach for the RedHawks in 1986-87.
Daniels has been certified at the Masters Level in collegiate coaching and has completed the USA Hockey Coaches "Program of Merit." In the summer of 1993, he was head coach at the USA Hockey's National Select 16 Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. Daniels, a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA), served a four-year term on the AHCA's Board of Governors and has been a representative of the NCAA Tournament West Regional Selection Advisory Committee.
Bob and his wife, Leslie, have been married for 28 years and reside in Big Rapids. They are parents of three children - Jenna, Pete and Sara. His oldest daughter (Jenna) has competed as a member of the Bulldog women's cross country/track and field teams while son Pete was a member of the Big Rapids High School hockey and golf teams.