Canton McKinley product tabbed Denver Broncos head coach


Canton McKinley Bulldogs

Canton, Ohio is credited as the birthplace of football and has produced some of the most recognizable names in the game’s history.

Add Josh McDaniels to the list.

Canton, Ohio is credited as the birthplace of football and has produced some of the most recognizable names in the game’s history.

Add Josh McDaniels to the list.

The Barberton native and Canton McKinley product is next to come out of the Northeast Ohio city after being named Denver Broncos head coach Sunday, according to ESPN reports.

McDaniels, 32, has agreed to a four-year contract making him the 12th head coach in franchise history.

“It has been a long road with a lot of great influences for me,” McDaniels said in a press conference Monday. “Growing up in Canton is a very important part of my life. Football is next to nothing. The people of Canton love this game and cherish the weekend that they get to really shine in August.

“I think that kids that grow up in Canton, Ohio, that is something that you have a great opportunity to fall in love with because it is right there,” he said. “It is present and it matters. It certainly matters to me.”

He takes over following the firing of Mike Shanahan on Dec. 30. Shanahan coached the Broncos the last 14 years and won Super Bowl titles in 1997 and ’98.

McDaniels broke into the NFL in 2001 with New England and spent the past eight years with the Patriots. He was part of six division titles, four AFC Championships and three Super Bowl titles with New England acting as both quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

With McDaniels on the Patriots staff, future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady earned Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player honors in 2007, Super Bowl MVP honors in 2001 and ’03 and is a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

In 2007, New England set NFL records with 75 touchdowns (67 on offense) and 589 points in the McDaniels offense and Brady’s 50 touchdown passes broke the NFL record for scoring strikes in a season. Brady also led the league in passing yards and passer rating.

Wide receiver Randy Moss broke the NFL record for touchdown receptions the same season with 23 and broke the New England franchise record with 1,439 receiving yards.

After Brady was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury in the 2008-opener, McDaniels led the Patriots to an 11-5 record with 2005 seventh-round draft pick Matt Cassel under center. The 2008 season marked Cassel’s first start since high school after backing up Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart at Southern California passing for 3,693 yards.

McDaniels also held coaching assistant and personnel assistant positions with New England before becoming quarterbacks coach in 2004.

“Josh McDaniels is one of the finest people and brightest, most talented coaches I have ever worked with,” New England head coach Bill Belichick said in a statement on the team’s website. “Since joining us eight years ago, Josh performed a variety of roles and excelled in every one of them. Josh is a very well-rounded coach whose outstanding body of work speaks for itself.

“He is the product of a pure football environment which is evident in his approach to the game.”

Prior to New England, McDaniels was a graduate assistant at Michigan State for two years under current Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

From 1995-98, McDaniels played quarterback and receiver at John Carroll University. In 1997, he had 23 receptions for 356 yards and five touchdowns. John Carroll finished 10-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

In 1998, McDaniels had 18 receptions for 376 yards and two touchdowns as the Blue Streaks finished 8-2.

McDaniels becomes the second John Carroll alumnus to become an NFL head coach – the other being Hall of Famer Don Shula.

At Canton McKinley, McDaniels played quarterback and kicked under his father Ohio high school coaching legend Thom McDaniels. The Bulldogs finished Division I state semifinalists in 1994 with the younger McDaniels under center.

And McDaniels understands and respects the influence his dad has had on his career.

“He is very proud. I am sure he is very, very proud today,” he said. “I have had more years around him than any of the other coaches I have mentioned. He is a very good teacher and is great with the players. He is emotional when he needs to be and those are all things that I hope to take from him.

“I think the one thing about my father that I know I do take every day into this job is his passion. There is nothing about this game that is unimportant to him and I would say that is true for myself. That is how I approach this job every day and I think everyone will see that come through.”

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