Auburn Villager

In early May, Lee-Scott Academy announced that it had found its new head football coach in Buster Daniel. Daniel will be taking the reins after former head coach Robert Johnson left for the same position at his alma mater, Montgomery Academy. 

As Daniel begins his new chapter at Lee-Scott, he highlighted his excitement for what lies ahead in the fall. 

“What I’m looking forward to more than anything is the support they give to the kids in every sport, and the family atmosphere they have with each other," he said. 

Daniel said he expects to bring a brand of tough and disciplined football to the Warriors, who posted a 5-6 record last season. 

“We are gonna teach hard-nose football," he said. "It will be different from what I have been teaching, the speed will be different, but we will be a team who does things the right way.”

Daniel made the move to Lee-Scott from his alma mater, Valley. The Rams went 14-19 during his tenure, and he led his players to a regional title for the first time in eight years. Prior to Valley, Daniel served as an assistant coach in various roles at Opelika High School for 22 years. 

When Daniel took over as head coach of Valley, the Rams had won only one game the season prior and had not been to the playoffs since 2011. By the time Daniel left, the Rams had improved to seven wins and finally broke their playoff drought in the 2018 season. 

While Daniel emphasized that his alma mater will be missed, he said that it was the promise of retirement and a better ability to provide for his family that gave him the push to take the job with the Warriors. 

“I’m not gonna jump the fence,” he said. “I’ve held three jobs in my coaching career. But one day I got a text telling me about the opportunity, and I didn’t expect much of it, but I reached out to Dr. (Stan) Cox and the whole process happened rather quickly. I had the opportunity to retire and better provide for my family, so I decided to take the job.” 

Upon looking back at his time coaching Valley, Daniel remarked that saying goodbye to his players was the hardest part. 

“There are a lot of good kids up there that will work hard,” he said. “They accomplished a lot of goals and will have a lot of success.”

As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, Daniel said he looks forward to meeting his coaching staff and beginning to start new relationships with the Warriors. 

While Daniel is eager to return to the football field, he stressed that safety will always come first. 

“The kids come first,” he said. "And we are not going to put them in any kind of harm, but we will do as much as we are allowed to do.”  

How practices will be held and when they will resume will be at the discretion of individual schools, said Daniel, who added that he looks forward to getting back to work as soon as possible.

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