Utah Valley University Women’s Volleyball
Get to know Daniel:
If you could have dinner with anyone living or not, who would it be?
What is your favorite restaurant?
Sam Hawk, a Korean restaurant in Provo, UT.
What’s your favorite thing to do around Provo?
Camping and snowboarding in the mountains.
What was childhood dream job?
To be a marine biologist.
What are your current career goals?
Down the road I would love to make the transition from assistant coach to head coach.
How did you get into coaching?
I reached out to our head coach at UVU, Sam Atoa, to see if he had a position open to volunteer. That is pretty good and easy way to get into the game. I volunteered for a year. The assistant coach that I worked under left, and he recommended me for the job. After that, the head coach called me and encouraged me to apply, so I could experience the hiring process. I applied and eventually was hired as the assistant coach.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be humble and work hard. When you’re humble, you’re able to take criticism and keep an open mind towards different situations that come your way. Being willing and able to learn and adjust helps you get along with other people. As an assistant coach, it’s not my job to be the one in the limelight. It’s my job for the head coach to be recognized. It would be hard for a prideful person to be in my position. My name never comes up, and I’d prefer it not to come up. If my name comes up, that probably means I did something wrong.
Being humble and working hard is what got me where I am today. When I was volunteering, I had a full-time job at the same time. I would work from 8am to 2 or 3pm, and then I’d come here for practice and work until late at night. My hard work payed off, because that is main reason why the coaches noticed me. They thought I would be good for an assistant coach because, even though I wasn’t getting paid, I put in a great deal of extra of time and effort.
What was behind your decision to major in Korean in college?
After high school, I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Korea. I lived there for two years. When I came back, I continued studying the language in school, and planned on at least getting a minor in Korean. I also took exercise science classes, because my plan was to apply to physical therapy school.
Around the time I was going to apply was when I started getting into coaching. At that point, I only needed a few more classes to fulfill the requirements for the Korean major. I really enjoyed coaching and I felt good about my future in the sport, so decided to finish the Korean major and focus on coaching.
What experience in your life has had the biggest influence on you?
The two experiences that have changed me the most are my mission in Korea and getting married. Being a missionary, you are with someone else 24 hours a day, which is not the easiest thing. Through that experience I learned patience. Marriage is similar in that you are always with someone else and you learn how to cope with different situations.
In the line of work that I’m currently in, the success of my job depends on college students. They don’t always make the right decisions, which can lead stressful situations for me. The patience I learned from my mission and my marriage has been very beneficial to my career as a coach.