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Former JCSU coach Daryl McNeill dies
Led Golden Bulls to 2006 Pioneer Bowl
 
Published Monday, October 21, 2013 12:07 pm
by Herbert L. White

Former Johnson C. Smith football coach Daryl C. McNeill died Oct. 19 in Seneca, S.C. He was 53 years old.

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Daryl McNeill, who coached Johnson C. Smith to a 23-38 record and the 2006 Pioneer Bowl, died Oct. 19 in Seneca, S.C.

Mr. McNeill suffered a stroke on Oct. 4 and was later admitted to Cottingham Hospice House. Funeral services will be held Oct. 25 at St. Mark United Methodist Church, 616 Quincy Road in Seneca.

As JCSU coach from 1995-96 and 2004-08, Mr. McNeill went 23-38 with winning campaigns in 1996 (7-3) and 2006 (7-4). He led the Golden Bulls to the 2006 Pioneer Bowl, where they lost to Tuskegee (Ala.) in Charlotte.  He was head coach at Savannah State from 1997-99 and Clark Atlanta from 2010-12 in addition to assistant coach at Savannah State, Tennessee State, N.C. A&T and St. Augustine’s.

“Daryl was a very compassionate person, a very caring person,” JCSU Athletics Director and men's basketball coach Steve Joyner said. “He was always concerned about the students and student athletes and he was always trying to better any program, no matter where he was or where he went.”

Mr. McNeill, the son of a high school football coach, played collegiately at S.C. State for legendary coach Bill Davis, a JCSU graduate who would succeed him at his alma mater in 1997. 

As Savannah State’s offensive coordinator under Davis, Mr. McNeill coached Shannon Sharpe, a tight end who won Super Bowl championships with the NFL’s Denver Broncos and Baltimore Raves and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mr. McNeill also coached Division II All-America De’Audra Dix, a JCSU cornerback and kick returner who played in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League.

At JCSU, Mr. McNeill inherited a program that hadn’t turned in a winning season since 1982 and produced a 7-3 campaign in his second year. He left to become Savannah State’s head coach but returned to Charlotte in 2004 to resuscitate the program after a 10-50 stretch over the previous six years. His second year on campus again resulted in a seven-win season and a berth in the Pioneer Bowl, Division II’s only postseason bowl game. As Golden Bulls head coach, 70 percent of his players graduated.

“Certainly as a person, all of those programs were touched by his presence and became better places because Daryl McNeill passed through there,” Joyner said.

Mr. McNeill is survived by a daughter Tiffany Spires, son Daryl Jr. and a grandson, Jayden.

 

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