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McDaniel during his THS days

McDaniel moving closer to home

By Michael Butler

Former Tallassee baseball player and assistant coach Craig McDaniel has had a successful three years as head coach of the Sweet Water baseball program. On Wednesday, he annonced that he will be returing to an assistant coaching capacity with Stanhope Elmore High School.

"I loved my time at Sweet Water," McDaniel said. "Great kids, great parents, phenomenal community and a very supportive administration. I was very lucky to be there. They'll continue to have success without me."

McDaniel's Bulldogs team made the semifinals in his first year in 2019 and the quarterfinals this past season. The 2020 season was shortened with no playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This position was open. I wrestled with it for a while. It was a very hard decision. At the end of the day it was about being closer to home, closer to family and closer to my wife."

McDaniel's wife Lindsay works with the school system in Millbrook. The last three years the couple has had a long-distance relationship.

"I don't know if many people could have done it. Lindsay was fantastic through the whole thing. I wouldn't recommend it to many people, but my wife was awesome. We would spend four, five, six, sometimes seven days a week apart. The drive wasn't fun at times."

This will be McDaniel's second stint with the Mustangs. He was a Stanhope assistant from 2010-14. He will work with head baseball coach Kaleb Shuman and head football coach Brian Bradford.

"There are some very talented kids," McDaniel added. "We've got a crop of good kids coming through."