Meet The Team: Assistant Coach Tim Daniels

This is part of our series where we reach out to Lansing Ignite players and coaches in an effort to get to know them before the season starts. Today we talk to Assistant Coach Tim Daniels. He is a former Lansing United player and assistant coach. 

WS: I know you were playing at Lansing United just a few years ago, what made you decide to take the path you are on and become a coach?

TD: Yes, I played for Lansing United in the 2016 season. Even before that I knew I wanted to coach because of the impact that my previous coaches had in my life both on and off the pitch. I was already coaching part-time, but when an opportunity came to work with Nate at SAU and Lansing United, I jumped at the chance.

 WS: In the interview Nate did on the radio with Jeremy, he described you as his right hand man at Lan U and Spring Arbor. Can you tell me a little about your relationship with him, and how you guys work together?

 TD: I have known Nate for a long time, and we have a great working relationship. The first time we worked together was as at Taylor University in 2011, when he was the assistant coach during the start of my collegiate career, and after, as I mentioned, at SAU and Lansing United. He is really passionate when it comes to developing players and creating a unique culture within a winning team. That’s where I can really relate in my goals as a coach, too.

WS: When Nate answered some of my questions a few months ago, he said this about a moment where he wanted to take this step to the pros… “But I do remember a night where me and TD (my assistant) were in a hotel room on the road late one night watching a USL game…and it was just terrible. The game was just shocking and we just looked at each other…and we both knew what the other was thinking…if we ever get the chance, we are going to do risk everything, stick to our principles and play our way. I’m really happy we get that shot.” I’m curious if you remember that night too, and if that was a moment where you really thought about taking this step too?

 TD: Yes, I remember very clearly watching that match with Nate when we were on the road. I think we both had considered taking this step, but that moment specifically was about ‘how.’ It was about the process, and like Nate said, sticking to what we believe. We are thrilled to do this at LIFC.

WS: To tie off that question, how do you envision this team playing that differentiates itself from what you usually say in the USL?

 TD: Well, we do have certain principles. In addition to those and within our style, we want each players’ identity and strengths to come out when they’re performing. This game is really unique because there are many ways to win. We want to be a team that takes a proactive approach both when we have the ball and when we are trying to win it back.

 WS: Is there any specific memory from your Lansing United tenure that stands out as your favorite?

 TD: There are quite a few that stand out. Making a debut for the club as a player, and a few exciting rivalry matches both as a player and then as a coach. Another one is placing our spot in the 2018 USL League Two (formerly PDL) Playoffs and the fantastic work and performance of our team against the Des Moines Menace, despite losing in penalties. I think a lot of people in Lansing and the club were inspired by that team performance, especially given the quality of Des Moines.

WS: You’ve been in Mid Michigan for several years now between Lan U and Spring Arbor. What is something you really enjoy about this area?

TD: Michigan is a really great place to live. My wife is originally from Michigan, and I grew up in the Midwest, too. We also lived in Naples, Florida, for a while before moving here. Even though the winters are slightly colder than Florida, it’s worth it. We’re excited to be more involved in the Lansing community.

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