Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Jim Daniel resigned as Palmetto Christian athletics director and head football coach last month after six years with the Eagles.
Daniel posted a 33-28 overall record and guided the Eagles to the playoffs four of the past five years. After 13 years of coaching, he'll enter the family industrial supply business with his father-in-law. He says he wants to spend more time with his four sons, who are entering middle school and high school.
“My boys are getting to the age now that I can't commit my time the same way I have in the past,” Daniel said. “I love coaching. I've just had to redirect my priorities.”
Palmetto Christian assistant coach Chris Shimakonis will take over as varsity head coach for the 2014 season. Shimakonis spent the past five years on Daniel's staff as an assistant, and the past four as head coach of the Eagles' junior varsity team.
“Jim taught us how to compete,” Shimakonis said. “We're going to take his work and keep moving forward. It's been an easy transition because I have a group of seniors who are putting it on their shoulders and willing to work as hard as they have to in order to make sure we continue what Coach Daniel has built here. I think that's a great tribute to Jim.”
Palmetto Christian's Board of Directors will begin searching for a new athletics director no later than Jan. 1. Dale Hoover, a volunteer administrative assistant, and Headmaster Mike Lindsey will handle the athletics department duties until then.
“You always try to build on what someone else has laid before you,” Lindsey said. “Jim invested the time and built a good program and foundation. We'll continue to build on that foundation as we move forward and try to sustain the program while increasing competition.”
Daniel built Palmetto Christian football into a viable competitor, taking the reins in the program's second year and first full season.
In 2009, Daniel led Palmetto Christian to the SCISA Class A state championship game with an offense that averaged 32 points per game. Last season, Palmetto Christian finished 7-4, falling in the SCISA Class AA state semifinals. Senior quarterback J.T. Waters signed with The Citadel, where Daniel served as an assistant for four years.
Before he stepped down this summer, Daniel organized the construction of the school's first weight room, setting the school up with the necessary facilities to continue to develop its athletic department.
Daniel graduated from North Carolina State in 1992 and was a four-year letterman, playing in three bowl games. He coached as an assistant at North Carolina State in 1996, and as an assistant with Charleston Southern University in 1995.
He came to Palmetto Christian in 2008 after spending seven years as head coach of Bishop England where he posted a 43-36 overall mark.
He's agreed to help longtime assistant and friend Johnny Waters this season as he takes over the head coaching position at First Baptist. He doesn't expect to consider becoming a head coach again while his children are in high school but says he can't say for sure he'll never coach again.
“I have different goals in life right now,” Daniel said. “I want to be able to commit more time to my family and my boys. And I'm happy about that. But never say never. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll get back out there.”
Frankie Mansfield, the sports reporter for the Moultrie News can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more, follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook.
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