Daniel Smiley was head coach of the War Eagles from 2011 to 2018 (Photo: Maria Latham)
After leaving baseball behind in 2018 to advance his professional career and devote more time to his family, a well-known former player and coach is making his return to the Sycamore baseball field.
With his ties to Sycamore baseball spanning well over a decade, Daniel Smiley is sure to bring a familiar element to the War Eagles baseball program as an assistant coach. Alongside his longtime friend, Head Coach Matt Carrigan, the two "lifer" War Eagles will seemingly pick up where they left off.
"We see the game very similarly and have always worked well on the field together; it will be fun to get back to that type of chemistry," Smiley says.
Smiley and Carrigan have been friends for over 15 years, and that has not changed since he took over for Smiley as head coach in 2018.
Smiley and Carrigan have been friends over 15 years (Photo: Submitted)
"We have always wanted this to happen once I got established in my new career at Farm Bureau, and I am very glad it is coming to fruition," says Smiley.
Smiley suited up for Sycamore from 2000 to 2004, was an assistant coach from 2008-2011, and was head coach of the team from 2011 to 2018.
While specific roles have not yet been discussed, the coaches will do what best fits the team and the rest of the coaching staff. Also helping Carrigan on the field are assistant coaches Alan Barnett and Winston Vaughn.
"I will do whatever Matt needs me to do, just as he did for me for so many years," Smiley says. "I am excited to dive back in and I am looking forward to getting to know the players and their families... and get after it!"
Smiley is currently serving his last year of a four-year term as the Commissioner of the Pleasant View Athletic Association.