During his eight seasons as an assistant coach for the Walnut Ridge High School football team, Clarence Daniels Jr. helped the Scots post a 54-27 record and make one playoff appearance.
Among the teams Walnut Ridge dominated the most during that time was Africentric, which it outscored by an average of 54.5 to 6.0.
The struggles the Nubians endured during his time at Walnut Ridge -- and before that -- didn’t scare Daniels from pursuing what he considered a positive opportunity when he was hired as the Nubians’ coach earlier this month.
“He is high energy and a tremendous motivator,” athletics director Liana Coutts said.
A 1992 Mifflin graduate who played for West Liberty State, Daniels takes over for Mark Treece, who coached the Nubians to a 2-8 record each of the past two seasons.
Africentric has lost 36 consecutive City League-South Division games.
“They haven’t always been successful in football, but at the same time, I saw it as an opportunity to build on the momentum at the school,” Daniels said. “I was a teacher at Walnut Ridge, but I pursued a job at Africentric so I could make sure I’d be in the building. I’ve got an opportunity to teach seventh- and eighth-grade history at Africentric, so I’m going to have my hand out there on the young guys.”
During his time at Walnut Ridge under coach Byron Mattox, Daniels coached the offensive line and special teams and also coached at the junior varsity level.
Although Daniels takes over a program whose only non-losing season came when it went 5-5 in 2008, Africentric recently opened a new gym and also will have a new football stadium for the 2017 season.
“There’s a brand-new football field, and it looks great,” Daniels said. “That’s going to be one of my main attractions in getting kids out. We want to change the culture and make it competitive.”