POPLARVILLE - Former Pearl River Community College football great Doug Daniels will be inducted into the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies on Tuesday, April 29, in Jackson.
Daniels, 81, who lives in Poplarville with his wife, Phyllis, is one of 15 inductees into the class.
Daniels was a standout football player at PRCC from 1950-52 following an outstanding high school career at Poplarville High.
“This award means everything to me,” said Daniels. “Pearl River College has been in my life since I was a toddler. I used to play football on Sunday afternoons on the campus until I was old enough to play varsity ball. The school has always been a part of my life.”
As a 17-year-old PRCC freshman in 1950, Daniels started as a halfback and then played the balance of the year at defensive safety. He led the defense with six interceptions in six games, returned punts and kicked PATs.
When Daniels was a sophomore, late coach Dobie Holden, a Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame inductee, moved him to quarterback. One of his best passing games was four touchdown passes in a 47-0 win at East Mississippi. He also handled all the punting and kicking duties.
Daniels, a PRCC Sports Hall of Fame inductee, was named to the All-State first team as the quarterback. He also received the PRCC J. J. Holcomb Outstanding Athlete Award.
“This is one of the great honors an athlete could have,” said Daniels. “I’m so humbled by the selection.”
Daniels played his first full season of football in 1948 as a junior at Poplarville High. Playing halfback and linebacker, his team was not scored on for the first eight games. The team lost one game in 1948 by two points and two games in 1949. After Daniels' senior year, he was awarded the J. J. Holcomb Award as PHS’s most outstanding athlete.
Daniels was recruited by Tulane University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Southeastern Louisiana University. He chose Southeastern and alternated at quarterback, halfback, and safety on defense. Southeastern won the Gulf States Conference co-championship both years he played at SLU. In 1954, after receiving his mathematics degree, he joined the Army.
While in Germany, he played baseball and football for the 12th Infantry. His football team was the only undefeated team in Europe in 1955, and Daniels was selected as the Northern European All-Conference First-Team quarterback by Stars and Stripes newspaper.
In 1956, Daniels accepted the position of head coach and mathematics teacher at Poplarville High School, coaching football and baseball and teaching five math classes daily. In 1959, he was named “Coach of the Year” with Poplarville’s first undefeated/untied football team. The 1957 and 1959 PHS Baseball teams won the Desoto Conference Championship.
In 1966, he became district director of counseling and retired with 41 ½ years.
Doug and his wife, Phyllis, who is a 36-year PRCC business instructor retiree, have been married for 47 years and have three children, Darla (David), Dana (Kevin), and Bryan (Laura), and 13 grandchildren. The three children have degrees in math or communications.