Coach Norm Daniels Dies at Age 102

Norm Daniels, who coached five sports in almost 40 years at Wesleyan, died May 11 at the age of 102.

He coached baseball, football, basketball, wrestling and squash.

Norm Daniels coached Wesleyan baseball for 33 seasons.

Norm Daniels coached Wesleyan baseball for 33 seasons.

Daniels, born March 25, 1907 in Detroit, Mich., came to Wesleyan as an instructor in physical education in 1934 and retired in 1973.

He spent 33 years coaching baseball, and 19 years coaching football, which included a 25-game winning streak from 1945-1948.

The Hillsdale, Mich. native graduated in 1932 from the University of Michigan, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He also earned a master’s degree at Michigan in 1941.

Among all individuals who coached at Wesleyan, Daniels ranks third in his tenure at the university, behind only Hugh McCurdy who served for 46 years, and Fritz Martin who coached for 43 years.

While at Wesleyan, Daniels was consistently active in the local community as a part of numerous organizations, committees and associations around Middletown including a three-year term on the Middletown City Council. He remained in Middletown after his retirement.

Wesleyan celebrated Daniels’ 100th birthday April 5, 2007, in the Freeman Athletic Center. It was attended by current and emeritus faculty, and current and past staff, past players, and representatives from the City of Middletown.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, holds up a banner declaring the space "Coach Norm Daniels Lobby" during Daniels's 100th birthday celebration.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, holds up a banner declaring the space "Coach Norm Daniels Lobby" during Daniels's 100th birthday celebration.

At the ceremony, Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations  announced that the Freeman’s lobby would be named “Coach Norm Daniels Lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center.” After a proclamation by the Mayor of Middletown Sebastian Giuliano designating April 6, 2007 as Norm Daniels Day in Middletown, the lobby sign was unveiled and then many members of the audience reflected on their fondest remembrances of Daniels.

Daniels was a member of the Spring 2008 class of the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame.