KENNESAW, Ga. – Cale McDaniel, who led the Western Carolina University track and field and cross country programs the past two years, has been named director of track & field and cross country at Kennesaw State University, Director of Athletics Milton Overton announced on Thursday (Nov. 8).
"I could not be any more excited to join the Kennesaw State family," McDaniel said. "I am genuinely looking forward to the opportunity to work with such a talented group of student-athletes, and an athletics department that is motivated to compete at the highest level."
McDaniel takes over a Kennesaw State program that has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. The men's team track and field team program has captured seven straight ASUN Conference indoor championships and eight straight outdoor titles. Meanwhile, the women's team has also enjoyed significant success, winning back-to-back indoor championships and an outdoor title in 2017.
"We are thrilled to welcome Coach McDaniel and his family to Kennesaw State as the director of our track & field and cross country programs," Overton said. "He has done a great job developing student-athletes and winning championships at Western Carolina.
"His teams have a history of scoring in multiple ways and we look forward to him continuing the Gold Standard of winning championships as an Owl," Overton added. "His commitment to academic excellence is right in line with what we expect and he is a perfect fit to help us build champions in the classroom, on the field and in life."
McDaniel, who served primarily as the throws coach for six seasons at WCU prior to being named head coach of the Catamounts, produced six women's Most Outstanding Field Performers of the Year, three men's indoor Most Outstanding Field Performers of the Year, two women's outdoor Most Outstanding Athletes, and one women's Freshman of the Year. He has also led 30 student-athletes to Southern Conference individual championships and has had 104 student-athletes earn all-conference honors.
McDaniel is a five-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year and has been a member of the NCAA Executive committee since 2017. Under his tutelage, 11 Catamounts went on to qualify for the NCAA East preliminary round with three student-athletes achieving qualifying marks for Junior Nationals.
As both a student-athlete and coach, McDaniel has helped bring 19 Southern Conference titles back to Cullowhee, including three during the 2017-18 season with the men's indoor championship, and the women's and men's sweep of the outdoor championships.
He also helped WCU's women's team earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team honors every season.
McDaniel received his U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Throws Specialist Certification in 2012 and his USTFCCCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification in 2016.
As a student-athlete, McDaniel was a six-time All-Southern Conference performer, while capturing two outdoor team titles in 2007 and 2010 and one indoor championship in 2008.
McDaniel is a 2010 graduate of Western Carolina University. He holds his bachelor of science degree in physical education and earned his Master's in Education while focusing on physical education and health in 2013. A licensed health and physical education teacher in the state of North Carolina, McDaniel served as an adjunct professor in the health education department at WCU since 2013.
"My family and I are thankful for all the experiences at Western Carolina, and we look forward to the new challenges ahead," McDaniel said. "I would like to thank Mr. Overton and Mr. (Travis) Glasgow for taking the time and providing my family and me with such a wonderful opportunity."
McDaniel is married to former WCU women's soccer standout, Erin McDaniel. The couple welcomed their first child, Braxton, in 2016.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill head track & field coach Harlis Meaders
"I truly believe the decision to hire Cale was a great choice by the administration at Kennesaw State. I have watched Cale grow as a coach and as a director over the last few years and I have been amazed at the things he has accomplished. Personally, I know Cale to be a man with family values and great character. He believes in a true team environment and the student-athletes at Kennesaw will benefit from his mentoring and leadership. As a grad school graduate and former assistant coach at WCU I am sorry to see him leave, but I am excited for this new opportunity for him."
University of Maryland assistant track & field coach Travis Coleman
"I'm excited to hear that KSU has brought in such a great hire with Cale. His ability to produce highly competitive teams while enhancing student-athlete welfare and preparation for life after athletics is a quality all coaches should strive for. The championship mindset of KSU Track & Field will surely be elevated to new heights with Cale at the helm. I look forward to seeing what Cale and his staff are able to accomplish on and off the track."
Western Carolina University Director of Athletics Randy Eaton
"Coach McDaniel has been a great leader and an inspiration for our track and field student-athlete. Given his experience as a student-athlete at WCU, he was able to anticipate the daily ups and downs of those young people in his charge."