Daryl Daye
Daryl Daye
Title: Head Coach
Previous College: Louisiana State '86

With more than 28 years of college football experience, Daryl Daye was named the 11th Head Coach in the history of Missouri Southern Football on December 16, 2011. 

In his second season at the helm of the Lions, Daye lifted the program to a level unseen in the past 20 years. The Lions finished the season 7-3 overall and were 5-3 in the MIAA. Southern also broke a 20-year drought with a 35-21 win at No. 9 Pittsburg State in the season-finale. The Lions won for the first time in Pittsburg since 1983 and for the first time against the Gorillas since 1993.  

Nine Lions were named All-MIAA, and 11 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. The Lions’ Chris Barnwell and Gatlin Ridgway were named All-Region with Barnwell earning All-American honors. Giresse Forchu was an Academic All-District selection and the Lions ended the 2013 campaign as Division II’s leader in time of possession, holding onto the ball for an average of 35:14 each game. Southern also ranked second nationally in both rushing yardage and fewest passes intercepted. In all, the Lions ranked in the top ten nationally in nine different categories, while ranking 14th in turnovers lost.

The team also added to the records broken in Daye's tenure. The Lions, in one fewer game, destroyed the old rushing record set in 2012 (3,043) by rushing for 3,684 yards in 2013. The team also broke a record set in 2012 in largest gain per rush by averaging 6.2 yards per carry, while also breaking the record for rushing attempts with 597. The Lions broke the single-game rushing record with 607 yards put up against Lincoln in 2013, besting the old record by more than 100 yards.

In his first season as the head coach with the Lions, Daye led the team to a 6-5 record, its first winning season since 2007 and just the third winning season in the prior 20 years. He helped mentor the Division II National Defnensive Player of the Year as Brandon Williams broke the Southern sack record and was named to five different All-America teams. Williams was also selected to play in the Senior Bowl. 

Daye came back to Southern after serving two seasons with the NFL's Buffalo Bills as Assistant to the Head Coach. He assisted Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt in coaching the inside linebackers and also helped to coach the special teams units. He was responsible for assisting head coach Chan Gailey in the team’s day-to-day administrative operation as well as numerous travel and training camp duties. 

Prior to his stint with the Bills, Daye served for four years with the Lions as the team's defensive coordinator. He was also the special teams coach and also coached the Southern linebackers.

In 2008, the Lions once again led the MIAA in pass defense and junior linebacker Jared Brawner was an All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American selection after leading the MIAA in tackles with 120. The Lions held opponents to 172 passing yards per game and recorded 58 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks and recovered all 15 fumbles the team forced.

The 2007 MSSU defense helped the Lions to their first winning season in 12 years. The defense led the MIAA in total defense for the 1st time in school history and also led the MIAA pass defense, opponents' first downs, passing efficiency and were ranked second in Opponents third and fourth down conversions. The Lions' defense was ranked 21st nationally in total defense and also broke a 17 year old division II school record with 21 interceptions. Coach Daye's defenses have now forced a total of 113 turnovers in 4 years.

Prior to Southern, Daye worked as special teams coach for the Southern University Jaguars in Baton Rouge, La. until 2005. His punt return unit led the nation with 19.1 yards per return in 2005, and the kickoff return squad ranked ninth nationally at 22.4 yards per return. He coached place kicker Breck Ackley who became the all-time leading scorer at Southern University.

Daye previously served as head coach at Nicholls State University, in Thibodeaux, La., from 1999-2003.

His 2003 team broke 32 school records and played for the first ever Southland Conference championship. The Colonels finished that year ranked 32nd nationally and were among the top 45 percent in NCAA Division I-AA attendance. His quarterback Josh Son became the All-Time leading rusher in Colonel History.

Daye led the Colonels to a four-win turnaround in 2002 as the team finished 7-4 and ended the season ranked in the Division I-AA top 25. For his efforts, he was named the 2002 Southland Conference Coach of the year. The success for Daye at Nicholls State started in 2001, where he guided the Colonels to a victory over Division I-A foe Arkansas State, the first ever Division I-A victory in school history.

Daye not only helped Nicholls State to wins on the field, but off it as well. Over the course of his career, the team went from a 1.7 overall grade-point average to a 2.5 GPA and over 150 players were named to the All-SLC academic team and over 40 players were named to the Verizon All-Academic All American team.

Daye took the head coaching job at Nicholls State after serving eight seasons under former Cleveland Brown, two-time NFL Coach of the Year Sam Rutigliano at Liberty University, where he served as the school's defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.

His first season in his defensive coordinator role proved to be an outstanding experience. The defense showcased itself as one of the most opportunistic squads in the I-AA ranks, leading the nation in turnovers (40), second in turnover margin (1.82), and yielded only 17.7 points per contest, the best mark by a Flames' defensive squad over the previous 15 seasons. The Flames finished the season at 9-2 and nationally ranked No. 17.

His football coaching experience began at Louisiana State University in 1986, where he worked under and also played for Bill Arnsparger "the architect of the Miami Dolphins' 'No-Name Defense'" in the early 1970s. He then coached two seasons for then-coach Mike Archer who is the current defensive coordinator at North Carolina State University. Initially, Daye came to LSU as a walk-on player. He earned a scholarship and later lettered at inside linebacker for the Tigers.

While at LSU the Tigers won two Southeastern Conference Championships. Daye was a part of five teams that went to bowl games either as a player or coach. LSU represented the SEC as the league champions in the Sugar Bowl in 1985 and 1987, while also appearing in the 1983 Orange Bowl, 1985 Liberty Bowl and 1988 Gator Bowl and the 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl

After his stint at LSU, Daye coached at Southern Mississippi under former head coach Curley Hallman in 1989-90. The Golden Eagles, whose then-roster included former Green Bay Packers star Brett Favre, made one postseason appearance during his stay there in the 1990 All American Bowl.

The Ferriday, La., native was a two-time All-State performer at Huntington High School and earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from LSU in 1986 and added a master's degree in physical education from Southern Mississippi in 1990.

Daye is married to the former Kathy Polko, also a graduate of LSU and a former All-SEC selection in gymnastics. His father Donnie Daye played for the 1958 National Champion LSU Tigers as a fullback/linebacker and coached for over 13 years, six seasons of which he was the defensive coordinator at New Mexico State University. His mother Penny was a feature majorette for the University of Missouri.