On February 21, 1932, Aramious McDaniel was born in Waco, Texas, to the union of Adolph and Johnnie Mae McDaniel, along with supporting relatives James and Jewel Smith, all of whom preceded him in death. He was an only child.
McDaniel accepted Christ at an early age beginning at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Later in his life, he joined Second Missionary Baptist Church, currently under the leadership of Dr. Nika L. Davis, Pastor. A member for over fifty years, he served on the Brotherhood Board, Cuisine Committee, and Male Chorus.
McDaniel was educated at A. J. Moore High School in Waco, Texas, and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, where he was awarded an athletic football scholarship. After two years at Wiley College, McDaniel entered the US Air Force in 1953 and played football for four years with the US Air Force Falcons. McDaniel achieved the status of US Air Force All American.
In 1974, a longtime friend of McDaniel’s asked him to coach football. He coached Pop Warner Football for the Elks and the Eastern Little League for Waco, Texas, until 1982 when the Elks disbanded. Because of his experience and commitment to youth athletics, it did not stop there. In 1982, he was approached by Latino leaders to establish a league in South Waco. With the support of board members, coaching staff, and his daughters, Coach McDaniel created the Southern Panther Organization in 1989. He was the founder and owner of Southern Pee Wee Football for over 30 years. Coach McDaniel consistently reiterated that he didn’t get this far by himself. It took parents, coaches, cheerleaders, and most importantly, family. The Southern Panthers football team have been National and State Champions for the last ten years, and in 2018, the cheerleaders became National Champions.
Coach McDaniel would say, “I love it! I love to see the kid’s progress. Many of them may not become professional football players, but they can become doctors, teachers, or coaches. I have quite a few kids who came through the program coaching in the Waco Independent School System.”
McDaniel was proud to have coached football legend LaDainian Tomlinson, who played in the Southern Panthers program with many future college and NFL players. Today, the youth in the program are inspired to be "just like L.T." and other players influenced by Coach McDaniel's coaching, standards, and leadership. When asked what's relevant to the youth in the program, He emphasized three things: #1 Education First; #2 Football - Teach the Fundamentals; and #3 Extracurricular.
In his later years, when McDaniel was no longer coaching, you would find him on the sidelines supporting the football teams and cheerleaders. He traveled to every game, and you would even see him at football practices sitting in his lawn chair and sharing his wisdom. He valued his role as a "Coach of Life," and he continued to follow his players as they maneuvered through life, offering them continuous support and guidance. Coach McDaniel often shared with friends and family, "you know they call me a Legend," a title given to him by several coaches in the Central Texas area. He was also known as the "Jerry Jones" of the Little League.
Coach McDaniel was inspired by a quote from the late Head Coach Rollie Massimino of Villanova: “Don’t ever quit and Don’t ever give up.” He practiced this in his daily life and regularly offered the same words of wisdom to his players.
He worked at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Waco, Texas, and he retired after thirty-four years of service.
Aramious McDaniel “Coach McDaniel”, a native of Waco, Texas, passed away on May 23, 2021. He was preceded in death by his son, Roy Adolph McDaniel.
He is survived by: his wife of thirty-nine years, Bettye McDaniel, who share a son, Shamaur McDaniel; his children, Jewel Moore, Tracye McDaniel, Stephanie Hill-Townsend and Jonni McDaniel; his bonus children, Lezonia Roshell Walker and Haywood Scott; and a host of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
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