Ezekiel “Zeke” McDaniel, Sr.
Profession: Retired Teacher/Coach
High School: Stephens High School
Very few individuals have had the level of achievements in the state of Georgia than Zeke McDaniel. McDaniel graduated from Stephens High School in 1952, where he was a member of the 1952 State Championship Basketball Team.
Following his high school career, McDaniel would enroll at Savannah State, where he lettered in Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track & Field. McDaniel also served as Captain of the Football Team. Despite the demanding schedule of a 4-sport athlete, McDaniel would graduate with honors from Savannah State with a degree in Social Sciences and being a member of the Dean’s List on three occasions.
After graduating in 1956, McDaniel would return to Stephens High School as Head Coach of the Basketball and Track teams. In 1960, he would lead his track team to a state championship. In 1961, McDaniel would win state championships in both track and basketball.
In 1963, McDaniel would go to work for the Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD) and would coach the boys basketball team and the track team. McDaniel would become a coaching legend for the school, as he would lead his basketball team to be recognized as the National Deaf Prep Team of the Year in 1973, 1974, 1976, and 1984. During those same years, McDaniel was also recognized as the National Deaf Prep Coach of the Year. McDaniel won 5 Mason-Dixon Championships, including 3 straight between 1982-1984. As a result of this great run, McDaniel would be recognized as the Mason-Dixon Coach of the Decade.
McDaniel’s accolades as a coach led to his induction in the GSD and Rome/Floyd Co Sports Halls of Fame. He has also been nominated for the GACA Hall of Fame. McDaniel was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Mason-Dixon Committee in 2012.
Aside from his coaching career, McDaniel has been a GHSA basketball referee, ASA softball umpire, and serves as Trustee and Deacon of his church. He also sponsored and directed the Soul Classic Softball Tournament and is a Present Commander of United Veterans of the Armed Forces.
McDaniel and his wife, Corrie, reside in Rome and have 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. McDaniel’s daughter, Yvette, is an Assistant basketball coach at Alabama State College. His son, Ezekiel Jr., has his own company. His daughter, Stephanie, has degree in Psychology, while another daughter, Erica, is a Chemist. Another son, Luther, is Principal of Whitehead Elementary School and his daughter, Cassandra, has had a career as a Medical Assistant.