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McDaniel selected as the 2022 VDN Football Coach of the Year



Todd McDaniel
Todd McDaniel: Photo by Ced Tillman
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Vicksburg High School’s Todd McDaniel has been named as the Vicksburg Daily News Head Football Coach of the Year.

The Gators’ historic 10-3 season where they reached the third round of the playoffs for the first time in 21 years and secured a district title for the first time in 32 years is what led to McDaniel being selected.

“The goal was to get to North State and hopefully State,” McDaniel said. “We definitely accomplished plenty but now we got one more to check on the box which is a state championship.”

VHS fell short of victories in their first two games but eventually went on a 10-game winning streak along with a deep run in the playoffs and captured a better season than in the previous year.

“We executed better this season and they understood better on what we were trying to accomplish on offense, defense, and special teams and they focused a whole lot more but that comes with the process of maturing,” McDaniel said.

Offensively, the Gators went from having one 1,000-yard rusher in 2021 to having nearly three running backs to rush for over 1,000 yards in 2022 behind McDaniel’s play calling.

Criticized early on by the public, McDaniel stayed focused and led the Gators to new heights while also securing his 100th career win as a head coach in a 14-0 victory over Neshoba Central.

The great things happening under McDaniel’s leadership are far from over as VHS is returning most of their starter next year while they are moving up to 6A.

“I feel really good about the future and when I initially came over here and sat down with all the coaches that was the whole point which was getting to North State and State and doing it our way and no one else’s way,” McDaniel said. “I think a lot of people misunderstand and think that this is the end but this is just the beginning.”

Along with earning the respect of many, the Gators’ sideline was filled with college scouts at nearly every football game. Multiple players have already announced their scholarship offers.

Shortly before the 2022 season ended, it was announced that 24 Gators made the All-District Team.

With all the Gator accomplishments, McDaniel credited his assistant coaches for helping him make this dream season come true.

“Those guys have done a tremendous and they have bought into the vision and without them and the players we have nothing but it took a family to get here and people can’t destroy a family when you have a solid foundation,” McDaniel said.

This season is the second year in a row that McDaniel has won this award and he’s already preparing his team for the future.

“It’s just a testimony of how hard these kids work and they better believe it’s gonna be three years in a row but my hat goes off to my kids and coaches.”

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