Daniel Waln enters his third season as men's basketball assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Lees-McRae.
Waln has been a key part in landing big time talent at Lees-McRae. His past two recruiting classes have included six three-star recruits. Known for his recruiting prowess, Waln has landed some of the East Coast’s top prep players as Lees-McRae’s recruiting coordinator.
Most recently, he was responsible for the recruitment of Austin Anderson, who earned 2016 All-American Honorable Mention and Conference Carolina Player of the Year. Marcus Cassesa, who was rated a three-star prospect and No. 4 guard in the state of Florida. Keith Heard II, who led the state of Georgia in blocked shots and like Cassesa was rated as a three-star prospect. Charles Dickson, a three-star prospect, and one of Chicago’s top prospect. Waln has been known to recruit the state of Florida extremely well but reached out to Nashville to land one of the top prep prospects in three-star recruit Cedriontis Wilson. Waln is well known throughout the state of North Carolina and Southeast as being one of the top recruiters.
During Waln’s second season he was apart of a LMC team that defeated then-No. 4 Mount Olive at home. After breaking the total wins and conference wins school record in 2014-15, the Bobcats accomplished the same feat while earning a No. 3 seed in the Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Championship and hosted the first postseason game in school history. The team earned the NABC all-academic award while Anderson grabbed six postseason awards. He was tabbed to second-team all-district. The Bobcats had three representatives inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma North Carolina chapter. The team boasted a GPA of 3.4.
During Waln’s first season at LMC, the Bobcats put together a season for the history books by winning school-record 15 games. LMC finished fifth, marking the highest finish in school history as members of Conference Carolinas.
Lees-McRae led the conference and ranked nationally in steals (10.5) and the Bobcat team valued the basketball by leading the conference with fewest turnovers a game (11.2) and the 2014-15 team tied for the most points per game. (82.9).
The Bobcats ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in nine categories. Waln helped groom point guard Sean Deniton, who earned third-team all-conference and academic honors and guard Jaquise Moore, who earned Conference Carolinas first-team honors and led the nation in steals per contest.
Before coming to Lees-McRae, Waln was the coach at Ashe County High School where he won three MVAC championships. Along with coaching high school, Waln spent time coaching a highly regarded AAU program in the East Coast Fusion 17U squad, based out of Richmond, Va., that competed in some of the nation's most prestigious prep basketball tournaments.
He is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Physical Education.
What they're saying about Waln:
"Daniel is a excellent addition to our staff! Having the opportunity to play and coach for Coach Marc Payne at Ashe County, Daniel is seasoned in the day-to-day coaching regiment and ready to take the next step in his coaching career. Coach Waln is a young enthusiastic relentless recruiter and a high energy personality that brings added passion to our rising program. He has recruiting ties in Florida, Virginia, and locally by playing, coaching in the area at the high school and AAU level. Daniel will be a valuable asset in every phase of the program. Coach Waln is the perfect fit for my FIRE system and I am blessed to have Daniel apart of Lees-McRae and our basketball program."
Steve Hardin, Lees-McRae College, Head Coach
"Daniel will be a great addition to the Lees-McRae staff. He will add an amplified amount of passion to their program. I know he will bring a ton of energy to the recruiting trail, and will excel through persistence. I look forward to watching his and Lees-McRae's progress." – Tyler Sanborn, Hampden-Sydney College Assistant Coach
“I have known Daniel for a few years now and during that time he has demonstrated an uncommon enthusiasm and passion for the game of basketball. This passion and ability to recruit paired with his work ethic will bode very well for success at Lees-McRae.” – Tim Lawrence, Robert Morris University, Assistant Coach
"I'm very excited about Daniel getting his chance to put his mark on a college basketball program. I knew it was only a matter of time before he broke into the profession. In Daniel's short time as a coach, he has developed a body of experience and knowledge that will bring continued success and growth to whatever program he is associated with. He will do an excellent job and represent Lees-McRae College in a first class manner." – Rhett Bonner, Rice University, Assistant Coach
Waln's duties will include: Recruiting coordinator, scouting, coaching point guards, day-to-day operations of the program, local outreach and assisting in every phase of our program.