Holly McDaniel Named Fort Walton Beach High School Athletic Director
The Okaloosa County School Board approved Holly McDaniel as the new Fort Walton Beach High School Athletic Director at the June 22, 2020, School Board Meeting.
Holly McDaniel is the daughter of Jim and Lou Pearson and has two sisters, Terry and Dawn. She has been married to her college sweetheart, Brian McDaniel, for 19 years and they have two amazing boys, Pearson and Lavin, and a beautiful daughter Leesa. She is in a family of educators in which her sister, Dawn Massey, is the principal at Florosa Elementary School, her brother-in-law, Gary Massey, is the principal at Bruner Middle School, and husband, Brian, is a teacher and head baseball coach at Fort Walton Beach High School.
Coach Holly McDaniel is a product of the Okaloosa County School District where she attended Wright Elementary School, Bruner Middle School, and Fort Walton Beach High School. During her 4 year playing career as a Lady Viking her team compiled a record of 114-14. During Holly’s senior year the team had a 34-1 record, finished the season ranked 15th in the nation, and were crowned the 1994 FHSAA 5-A State Champions. After finishing her high school career Holly took her talents to the Panhandle Conference where she signed a basketball scholarship to attend and play for Tallahassee Community College (TCC). After her freshman season, Holly transferred to Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. While at Columbus State Holly was a member of the 1998 Peach Belt Conference & Tournament Championship team. After earning a degree from CSU in Physical Education & Health, Holly returned back to her alma mater in 1998 to teach mathematics and coach basketball. During her 1st year back as an assistant coach, under Kevin Craig, the Vikings secured their second state championship in school history. (1999 6-A FHSAA State Champions)
After working under the leadership of Kevin Craig for 5 years, Holly was named the Head Fort Walton Beach High School Girls’ basketball coach in 2003. This past season marked Holly’s 17th year at the helm of the Lady Vikings Basketball program. During this time Holly and her staff have led the Lady Vikings to 347 wins, 16 FHSAA Playoff Appearances, 10 District Championships, 5 trips to the “Elite 8”, 3 Regional Championships, 3 Final Four Appearances, and a 2017 6-A State Runner-Up finish. Coach McDaniel and her staff have helped over 45 young ladies sign scholarships to compete at the next level and continue their post-secondary education.
In 2018, Holly attained her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. Off the court, Holly has taught Math and Physical Education at Fort Walton Beach High School. Holly has also served as Department Head and peer mentor to several new teachers and coaches.