Soon after accepting the head coach position at Columbia, Pete Mangurian invited Ben McDaniels to join him and become the Lions' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
"Ben and I share the same offensive philosophy," Coach Mangurian said. "Ben comes from a football family. His father is a highly successful high school coach in Ohio, and his brother and I worked together at the Patriots. Ben is dynamic young coach. He is the kind of teacher and person we wanted to lead our offense."
McDaniels spent two years as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos, serving as the quarterbacks coach during the 2010 campaign. During his time with the Broncos, McDaniels coached the seventh-ranked pass offense in the National Football League in 2010. Under McDaniels' tutelage, Kyle Orton posted his career high in completions and passing yards prior to missing the final three games of that season due to injury.
McDaniels also worked with current Broncos starting quarterback Tim Tebow during his rookie season. After Orton suffered a late-season injury in 2010, Tebow stepped in under center and averaged 217 yards per game through the air and 66.3 yards on the ground, accounting for seven touchdowns in those three games.
McDaniels began his coaching career in 2003 as a wide receivers coach at Warren Harding High School (Warren, Ohio) before coaching as a graduate assistant at Minnesota for two years from 2004-05.
McDaniels worked for the University of Minnesota as a graduate assistant under Head Coach Glen Mason from 2004-05. The Golden Gophers posted a 7-5 record and earned a berth in the Music City Bowl during each of those two seasons with McDaniels working with the wide receivers in 2004 and the defensive backs in 2005.
While at Minnesota in 2005, McDaniels was part of its team that recaptured the "Little Brown Jug" with a victory over the University of Michigan. The last-second road win marked the Golden Gophers' first victory against Michigan since 1986 in one of college football's oldest rivalries.
McDaniels was a quarterback at Kent State University under Head Coach Dean Pees from 1999-2001 after playing for Canton McKinley, which he led to a 37-3 record and two state championships during his three years as a starter. He set Canton McKinley career and single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns while helping it earn a No. 1 national ranking from USA Today in 1997.
His father, Thom McDaniels, coached him for two years (1996-97) in high school and established himself as one of the state's most celebrated coaches during his 16-year career (1982-97) as Canton McKinley's head coach. McDaniels also coached under his father in 2008 when he was Massillon Jackson's head coach and in 2003 when he was Warren Harding's head coach.
The younger brother of current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Ben McDaniels received a bachelor's degree in sport management from Kent State and a master's degree in sport management from Minnesota.