Video from Daryl Daye’s Press Conferencedaye coaching 2014

Joplin, Mo. — Missouri Southern football coach Daryl Daye has announced his resignation from Missouri Southern in order to take the defensive coordinator position at NCAA Division I Northwestern State University in Louisiana.

“You never want to leave a head coaching position,” Daye said. “But when a chance to go back home and to spend more time with your family comes up like this has, it’s hard to pass on.”

Daye spent three years as the head coach at Missouri Southern. Originally hired in 2006 as the program’s defensive coordinator, Daye took a two-year hiatus to coach with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, before coming back to Joplin to serve as head coach from 2012-2014.

In three seasons at Missouri Southern, Daye led the team to a 17-15 overall record. During that time, Daye coached 27 All-MIAA selections, including the 2012 MIAA and National Defensive Player of the Year in Brandon Williams. Williams broke the MSSU career sack record in 2012 and went on to be drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Williams has since cemented himself as the starting nose tackle for the Ravens and is one of the top up and coming defensive linemen in the NFL.

Daye has also coached five All-Region and three All-American selections, but that success doesn’t stop on the field, but it transitions into the classroom as during Daye’s tenure, 33 Lions were named to the MIAA’s Academic Honor Roll.

The 2013 season saw Daye’s best at Southern and one of the most memorable in Lions’ history. Southern went 7-3, defeated ninth-ranked Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, and for the second-straight year, broke the school’s single-season rushing record. That season, the Lions set school records in rushing yards (3,043), rushing yards per carry (6.2), while also breaking the single-season rushing attempts record (597) and the single-game rushing record when the Lions ran for 607 yards against Lincoln.

Athletic Director Jared Bruggeman said he understood why Daye has made the decision he has made and wishes him nothing but the best.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank Daryl for not only his service as our head coach these past three seasons, but also his time as an assistant coach,” Bruggeman said. “I think it goes without saying that with the improvements to our stadium, our campus with residence halls as well as the new end zone field house, this job will be highly sought after. The Missouri Southern Head Football Coaching job is more attractive now due to his success on and off the field.

“During Daryl’s tenure as both a head and an assistant coach, the team has seen one of the most successful stretches in recent history for Missouri Southern Football; highlighted by several wins against top 10 nationally ranked teams, having two players drafted into the NFL, Allen Barbre (in the 4th round) and Brandon Williams in the 3rd, as well as setting numerous school rushing records and consistently ranking at the top of the MIAA and all of Division II in rushing offense.”

Current MSSU offensive coordinator HT Kinney will serve as Interim Head Coach, and a national search for Daye’s permanent replacement will begin immediately.