Head Coach: Mike Dailey (first season)
2015 Record: 0-9 (Centennial Conference); 0-10 (overall)
Key Returners: RB Tayahd Campbell, WR Bamasa Bailor, LB Matt Quattrone
Key Games: Sept. 3 at Catholic Univ.; Nov. 12 at Johns Hopkins
After spending seven seasons as an assistant at McDaniel, Mike Dailey is in charge of the effort to revive the school's football program.
Dailey, who coached the Albany and Colorado franchises to Arena Football League championships, will guide a Green Terror program that won just five games during the last five years. Despite losing several key players to graduation, Dailey believes McDaniel can make a steady return to the heights of the Centennial Conference.
"I took this job because I thought I could get it headed in the right direction," said Dailey, who succeeded Mike Hoyt as the Green Terror head coach in December 2015. "The school has done a great job of stepping up, especially in terms of facilities. Our short-term goal is to win the next game. Long-term, we want to win the national championship."
Dailey's first priority is fixing a defense that surrendered 40.3 points per game in a winless 2015 season. The return of senior linebacker Matt Quattrone (team-leading 74 tackles) and senior defensive lineman Andy Ullmann (13.5 tackles for loss) will bolster the defensive unit.
"Matt can be a vocal leader and get his teammates to respond, in a positive way," Dailey said. "He brings knowledge, savvy and leadership to our defense."
On the offensive side, Dailey will have to choose a starting quarterback between two returnees, junior Will Koester and senior Matty Callahan. The duo combined for 2,030 passing yards and 10 touchdowns last fall. The Green Terror signal-caller will have a strong running game to work with, headed by juniors Tayahd Campbell (613 yards) and Perry Stefanelli (313 yards). McDaniel graduated three of its top four receivers but will welcome back junior Bamasa Bailor (26 catches).
"Tayahd is a hard-nosed type of runner who gets better as the game goes on," Dailey said. "Bamasa has showed great promise, and with our other top receivers gone, he knows that he has to be the go-to guy now."
Dailey understands the rebuilding process will take time, but he has set some modest goals for the 2016 squad.
"There are many guys on this team who haven't seen a lot of wins," Dailey said. "I think we need to build some confidence in our early games. We want them to play smarter and more physically than the other team. To make strides, we know that we have to scrap every week."
McDaniel must first become competitive in the Centennial Conference. The Green Terror, who were picked to finish last in the Centennial's preseason poll, won seven league titles from 1997-2004. But McDaniel has finished last in the conference during three of the last four seasons and still has a long way to go to compete with perennial league leaders Johns Hopkins and Muhlenberg.
Issue 224: August 2016