Dan Dakich: Coaching Legend and Radio Personality

Dan Dakich was born August 17, 1962 in Gary, Indiana. He attended Andrean Catholic High School in Merrillville, Indiana where he was a standout basketball and baseball player. Dakich went on to play collegiate basketball at Indiana University under legendary coach Bob Knight.

He suited up for the Hoosier from 1982-85, and was a team captain during his junior and senior seasons. Though not considered an outstanding player, Dakich was the unequivocal leader of the team, and helped the Hoosiers capture a Big Ten title and three NCAA Tournament berths while in Bloomington, Indiana. He is best remembered for playing shut-down defense against Michael Jordan in the 1984 East Regional game. Dakich scored just four points in the game, but he held Jordan, considered by many to be the best player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers, to 13 points on 6 of 14 shooting in IU’s stunning upset of Jordan’s North Carolina Tarheels.

After his playing career finished, Dakich joined Knight’s staff as a graduate assistant in 1985, a position he held for two years. He was then named a full-time assistant, staying with the program until 1995. During that span Dakich helped the Hoosiers win over 70 percent of their games, including four Big Ten titles and a National Championship in 1987.

He accepted the head coaching position at Bowling Green State University in 1997, and spent 10 years there, posting four seasons of 18-plus wins, and finishing his tenure with 156 victories, the third highest total in school history. His 2000 squad won the regular season MAC title, and his teams twice played in the National Invitational Tournament.

In 2002 he took the head coaching job at West Virginia University, but within days of being hired, he found out that some people affiliated with the program may have been guilty of recruiting violations. Not wanting to be a part of possible NCAA sanctions, Dakich backed out of the deal at West Virginia and remained at Bowling Green.

He returned to Indiana in 2007 as a part of Kelvin Sampson’s coaching staff. When Sampson resigned amidst allegations of NCAA recruiting violations — which turned out to be true — Dakich was promoted to interim head coach and tasked with managing a program in disarray. He did the best he could, kicking two disruptive players off the team, but the season ended with a first round loss in the NCAA Tournament. Tom Crean was hired shortly thereafter, and Dakich found himself out of collegiate coaching for the first time in over 20 years.

Instead of moving away to take another coaching position, Dakich decided to stay in central Indiana, and was hired by WFNI-AM 1070 The Fan to host a mid-day sports talk radio program. His immense knowledge of the Indy area sports scene, along with the connections and insight he gained during his coaching career helped Dakich become an immediate favorite among Indianapolis sports fans. His show can currently be heard on the airwaves Monday through Friday from Noon to 3 PM. In 2009 he signed on with the Big Ten Network to work as a weekend analyst for their college basketball games.

He currently resides in Zionsville, Indiana with his wife and children.

Dan Dakich interviews Michael Clarke Duncan on his radio show for 1070 The Fan

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