Bills head coach Chan Gailey lost a member of his coaching staff Friday when Assistant to the head coach Daryl Daye accepted the head coaching job at Division II Missouri Southern State.
“Congratulations to Daryl Daye for getting the head coaching job at Missouri Southern State,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix. “Daryl played for me at LSU. I’ve known him for years and he did a great job for us here with the Bills, and he’ll do a good job for Missouri Southern State, too.”
Though the NFL is at the top of the football coaching ladder, Daye felt the pull from the college ranks and knew it was an avenue of coaching that he wanted to revisit.
“I think at the end of the day you’ve got to be true to yourself sometimes,” said Daye. “Some friends of mine were saying, ‘What are you doing? It’s the NFL.’ But what’s important is wanting something that satisfies you inside. Making a difference in the lives of young men is what I truly missed the most. You still have a chance to train young men to be better people and that’s what led me to this decision.”
Responsible for assisting coach Gailey in the team’s day-to-day operations, he additionally assisted Dave Wannstedt in coaching the inside linebackers and with special teams.
“Daryl did an excellent job with our coaching staff during his time with the Bills organization and we are excited for him with the opportunity he now has as a head coach,” said Gailey. “I want to offer my congratulations to Daryl and we believe he will do an excellent job in his new role. We wish Daryl and his wife Kathy the best of luck in their new endeavor.”
Despite owning 24 years of collegiate coaching experience Daye believes coaching at the NFL level the past two years with the Bills has served him well.
“A lot of times when you’re in the different colleges that I’ve been a part of things get segmented,” said Daye. “Ultimately, everybody is trying to be together, but there are different sports and academics involved as well. Here with the Bills you see the full benefit of teamwork and everybody working to move the thing in one direction. That part just reinforced for me what teamwork really is.”
Daye has great familiarity with the school having spent the previous four years (2006-09) at Missouri Southern as the school’s defensive coordinator, special teams and linebackers coach.
Under Daye Missouri Southern’s defense ranked 21st nationally in total defense in 2007 and broke a 17-year old Division II school record with 21 interceptions.
“I understand the conference and what it’s going to take to win in it,” he said. ‘I’m very familiar with the community having lived there for four years. And knowing how committed the university is to putting successful teams on the field so it made it an easy decision.”
Prior to Missouri Southern State, Daye served as an assistant for Southern University and was a head coach at Nicholls State (1999-2003) earning Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2002.
Though he’ll be busy building a program at Missouri Southern he admits he’ll grab a glance every now and then back at the NFL to see how the Bills and his coaching brethren in Buffalo are doing.
“I’m a big fan of the Bills now,” he said. “The people here have just been tremendous. It felt like the whole organization was as excited as I was to get the chance to be a head coach again. I can’t walk down the hall without someone patting me on the back. Coach Gailey and Coach Nix have been great mentors for me and their guidance has been awesome.”