SALT LAKE CITY — Earlier this month, former Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus was named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. And it appears just 15 days later, one of his long-time assistant coaches will returning back to the University of Utah.
Donny Daniels, an 11-year assistant coach under Majerus during his tenure at Utah, is reportedly joining the Utah men’s basketball staff after stepping down as an assistant at Gonzaga, Daniels told The Spokesman-Review Tuesday.
Utah has yet to officially announce the hire, but Daniels said he’ll be the director of basketball operations, likely indicating a promotion to Utah’s Chris Jones, who currently holds the position.
Jones could likely fill the vacancy left by DeMarlo Slocum, a long-time assistant coach under Larry Krystkowiak who left for a position at UNLV earlier this month, as one of the team’s assistant coaches. Daniels, in a last attempt to stay in coaching, decided to stave off retirement for likely one last gig in basketball.
“It’s almost like the perfect transition,” Daniels told The Spokesman-Review. “I’ll basically just be another set of eyes. I was very comfortable with retiring and not doing anything until about a month ago when this opportunity came up.”
Daniels spent nine seasons at Gonzaga as an assistant coach under Mark Few and more than 30 years at the collegiate level. While at Utah, Daniels was the team’s chief recruiter for some of their biggest recruits, such as Keith Van Horn and Andre Miller. Daniels coached at Utah from 1990-2000 before accepting the position to be Cal State Fullerton’s head coach.