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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga expected to hire Roger Powell Jr. to replace outgoing assistant coach Donny Daniels

April 17, 2019 Updated Wed., April 17, 2019 at 8:23 p.m.

 (AP, University of Vanderbilt)
(AP, University of Vanderbilt)

Gonzaga appears to have found a replacement for assistant coach Donny Daniels, who is leaving the program after nine seasons.

The Zags are expected to hire former Vanderbilt associate head coach Roger Powell Jr., a Gonzaga source confirmed. The news was first reported in tweets by’s Evan Daniels and Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Powell has been at Vanderbilt for the past three seasons. Commodores head coach Bryce Drew was fired after the season and replaced by Jerry Stackhouse. Powell was an assistant under Drew at Valparaiso for five seasons before Drew accepted the job at Vanderbilt.

Powell was a three-year starter at Illinois. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds as a senior as the Illini finished 37-2, losing to North Carolina in the 2005 NCAA championship game.

Powell played part of the 2006 season with the Utah Jazz. He then played five seasons professionally, with stints in Italy, Israel, Spain, France and Germany.

Valparaiso captured four Horizon League regular-season titles and played in two NCAA Tournaments in five years with Powell on the coaching staff.

Vanderbilt reached the 2017 NCAA Tournament under Drew, but slipped to nine wins last season. He was fired on March 22, the day before Gonzaga’s 83-71 NCAA Tournament win over Baylor, coached by Scott Drew, Bryce’s brother.

Gonzaga has had plenty of time to search for Daniels’ replacement. Daniels told head coach Mark Few nearly two years ago that he was planning on retiring following the 2019 season. The 64-year-old said earlier this week that he expects to join Utah’s staff as director of operations as he winds down toward retirement.

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