Dan Dakich Biography
Dan Dakich is a basketball sportscaster, radio show host, former coach, and former basketball player born in Gary, Indiana. Dakich attended Andrean High School in Merrillville, Indiana, then played for Indiana University. He played the guard position for the Hoosiers for four seasons between 1981 and 1985. He was recruited by and played under Bob Knight. The 6’5” guard was team captain of the Hoosiers in 1983-84 and 1984-85, his junior and senior seasons. As a player, Dakich helped IU win a Big Ten title, make three NCAA Tournaments, and finish second in the 1985 NIT.
He gained notoriety for his stifling defense against basketball legend Michael Jordan in IU’s upset victory over North Carolina in the 1984 NCAA Tournament. Dakich served on Knight’s staff for 13 years after graduating IU, first as a graduate assistant from 1985-1987, then as a full-time assistant from 1987-1997. Dakich served as the head coach at Bowling Green from 1997-2007, accumulating 156 wins and recording two NIT appearances.
Dakich became Director of Basketball Operations at IU in June 2007, and was announced as the interim head coach in February 2008, after an investigation into basketball recruiting violations drove head coach Kelvin Sampson to resign. Dakich began hosting The Dan Dakich Show in September 2008 on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, and joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 2010. In 2006, Dakich was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame High School Silver Anniversary Team, as one of 16 high school players who had graduated 25 years earlier.
- Name: Daniel John Dakich
- Position: Point Guard / Shooting Guard
- Nationality: USA
- Age: 59 years old
- Birthday: August 17, 1962
- Born: Gary, Indiana
- High School: Andrean High School (Merrillville, Indiana)
- Height: 6’5″ (190 cm)
- Seasons: 4 (1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1984-1985)
- Jersey: #11
- Education: Telecommunication
- Current Profession: Radio Talk Show Host, College Basketball Analyst
Awards and Accolades
- 1983: Big Ten Champion
- 1982-1984: NCAA Tournament Appearance
- 1984: Elite Eight Appearance
- 1983: All-Tournament team, Indiana Classic
- 1984: All-Tournament team, Hoosier Classic
- 2006: Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame High School Silver Anniversary Team
- 2016, 2018: Barrett Sports Media #1 Mid Market Midday Radio Show
Dan Dakich’s High School Career
Growing up in Northwest Indiana, popularly known as “The Region”, Dakich attended Andrean High School in Merrillville and played for coach Dan Rogovich. During his time as a 59er, Dakich led his team to the state semifinals at Market Square Arena in 1980, and to the semistate finals in 1981. At Andrean, Dakich played with two other Division I players: Ray Gough, who attended Eastern Illinois, and James Bullock, who went to Purdue. Furthermore, Dakich once scored 49 points in a single game (at Lowell), which, to this day, despite the advent of the three-point line, is still the most points ever scored by an Andrean player on a single night.
Dakich graduated from Andrean in 1981. Dakich, who also was adept at playing baseball, has been named to the Andrean Athletics Hall of Fame. He also conducted a basketball camp at the high school for over twenty years. Last spring, Dakich was the keynote speaker at a ceremony that recognized the 2018-2019 Andrean boys’ basketball team as 2019 IHSAA Class 2A State Champions.
Dan Dakich’s Seasons with the Hoosiers
19-10 (12-6 Big Ten)
🏅 NCAA Second Round
24-6 (13-5 Big Ten)
🏅 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
22-9 (13-5 Big Ten)
🏅 NCAA Elite Eight
19-14 (7-11 Big Ten)
🥈 NIT Runner Up
Indiana University Career Statistics
Dan Dakich’s Indiana Basketball Career as a Player
Dan Dakich came to Indiana University in 1981 along with four other freshmen including Winston Morgan, Uwe Blab, John Flowers, and Rick Rowray. Besides Uwe Blab, who joined the Indiana Basketball program from Munich, Germany, the entire freshmen class was composed of players from the state of Indiana. Right away, Dan Dakich got a taste of the NCAA post-season with the Hoosiers receiving a berth to the 1982 NCAA Tournament. Indiana finished 18-9 in the regular season and 12-6 in the Big Ten.
In the first round of the 1982 NCAA Tournament, the fifth seeded Hoosiers played in the Mideast regional and they were matched up against No. 12 Robert Morris. Indiana handled business effectively with a 94-62 victory over Robert Morris in Nashville’s Memorial Gymnasium (home of the Vanderbilt Commodores). Indiana would not see similar success as the season ended the very next game against a fourth-seeded University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dakich’s sophomore year was highlighted with more success as the Hoosiers won the 1983 Big Ten title outright with a final conference record of 13 and 5. Indiana was undefeated against non-conference opponents in the regular season during the 1982-1983 season. As the number two seed in the Mideast Regional once again, the Hoosiers had a similar fate of winning against seventh-seeded Oklahoma but then losing to the rival Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet Sixteen.
During Dan Dakich’s junior year, he was named as the captain of the 1983-1984 Hoosiers. That Hoosiers team would go on to finish third in the Big Ten and advance to the Elite Eight of the 1984 NCAA tournament. Across Dakich’s playing career at Indiana University, the 1984 post-season would be the furthest Dan Dakich advanced during his playing time with the Hoosiers. He finished with an average of 3.8 points per game that season, played in 24 games, and started in seven.
One of the little known facts about Dan Dakich is that he was a dual-sport athlete in college. In addition to playing for the Indiana Basketball program, Dakich also made it to the Indiana Baseball roster. In 1983, Dan Dakich also played for the Indiana Hoosiers baseball team as you can find him pictured in the number 17 jersey in the photo below.
In the last and final season of Dan Dakich’s playing career, he was once again named team captain. Despite putting up the best numbers of his career as a senior, the Hoosiers did not have the same success on the court even though the majority of the core roster remained in tact. The Hoosiers finished with a 19-14 overall record and a 7-11 finish in the conference. For the first time in Dakich’s Hoosier career, he would participate in the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament. Indiana made the most out of this tournament and finished as the 1985 NIT runner-up, losing to UCLA in the finals.
Dan Dakich’s Career as a Coach
Upon graduating from Indiana University, Dan Dakich took a role as an assistant head coach for the Hoosiers team where he spent all four years of his collegiate career. At first, he was named as a graduate assistant under head coach Bob Knight. After IU won the national title in 1987, Dakich took on the title of full-time assistant coach for his alma mater.
During his time as an assistant coach, Dakich helped the Hoosiers make the NCAA Tournament in each of his twelve seasons. IU won the Big Ten title four times (’87, ’89, ’91, ’93), and emerged victorious in nearly 74% of their games (283-101). He also coached six All-Americans and 1993 Player of the Year Calbert Cheaney. Academically, Dakich graduated every four-year player to go through IU, which was significant as Dakich was the staff’s academic monitor from 1990-1997. Other schools contacted Dakich about a head coaching position, but he turned them down, as Knight told him that he would eventually get the job at IU.
After a few seasons in which never won more than 22 games or advanced to the Sweet 16, Dakich left to take the head coaching position at Bowling Green State University. He took over for Jim Larrañaga, who left BGSU to take the same job at George Mason University. Early on, Dakich led the Falcons to a high level of success. In the 1999-00 season, BGSU won 22 games and won the MAC regular season title, something they had not done since 1983. The Falcons then won 24 games in the 2001-02 season, a number they had not reached since 1949.
Following the 2002 season, Dakich agreed to become the next head basketball coach at West Virginia, taking over for Gale Catlett, who was at the helm for 24 years. However, after becoming aware of potential recruiting violations within the West Virginia basketball program, Dakich left after a week and returned to BGSU. West Virginia opted to move on to their next choice: little-known Richmond head coach John Beilein, who took WVU to back-to-back Sweet Sixteens and is now considered one of the best coaches in the game.
After going back to BGSU, Dakich did not realize the same success he did in the first half of his tenure. The Falcons had losing seasons in four of Dakich’s last five years, including a 9-21 performance in ’05-’06. After a loss to the University of Buffalo late in the 2006-07 campaign, Dakich went on a profanity-laced rant against the officiating in his postgame press conference, an act that MAC commissioner Rick Chryst called “unprofessional”. Dakich resigned as BGSU head coach on March 13, 2007. Dakich finished with a record of 156-140 (.527). 12 of his players received professional contracts, including one-time Pacers guard Keith McLeod, and two players won MAC Player of the Year.
In the summer of 2007, IU basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson hired Dan Dakich as the Director of Basketball Operations at Indiana University, taking over for Jerry Green.
I’ve known Dan for a lot of years. I’ve always had great respect for him. I think he’s a man of great integrity and a great basketball person who can do a lot of things to help our program.Kelvin Sampson
Dakich was thrilled to be back, and was excited to join Sampson to attempt winning Big Ten and National titles. However, things got uncomfortable very quickly. In October 2007, less than a month from the start of the season, IU assistant coach and key recruiter Rob Senderoff resigned, after an internal investigation revealed he made a number of impermissible phone calls. Dakich was immediately reclassified as an assistant coach, but had his hands tied as the sanctions placed on Senderoff, involving travel and contacting recruits, now transferred to Dakich.
In February, due to the ongoing investigation, which ultimately involved five major violations and over 100 impermissible phone calls to recruits, Sampson resigned on February 22, 2008. At the time, IU was 22-4, ranked #14 in the country, and just came off a big win over #15 Purdue at Assembly Hall. After Sampson’s resignation, Dakich took over as interim head coach.
After Dakich took over, in incredibly difficult circumstances, the Hoosiers won their first two games, but finished losing four out of five, including falling to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament and Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament. Dakich was not retained.
Dan Dakich’s Later Career
Dakich became the host of his own radio show on Indianapolis radio station WFNI, 1070 The Fan, after transitioning away from coaching basketball. Immediately, he became one of the most polarizing figures in midwest radio, with his confrontational personality and his outspoken demeanor. Depending on the day and time, his show can be characterized as funny, insightful, provocative, enraging, ridiculous, or entertaining. A look below at a snapshot of reviews of his radio show providing a fairly accurate sampling of what his listeners think:
Dakich was also named a college basketball studio analyst for Big Ten Network for the 2009-10 season, and ESPN picked him up as a color commentator and studio analyst after Steve Lavin was hired as head coach at St. John’s. There are plenty of similarities between Dakich as a basketball analyst and as a radio show host. A Twitter search of Dakich’s name during any particular broadcast will result in a wide variety of opinions, insults, and compliments.
(When it comes to broadcasting), Dakich is simultaneously ‘a natural and rough around the edges’.Former broadcast partner Mike Tirico
Currently, Dakich is married to former Syracuse softball coach Leigh (Ross) Dakich. He also has two children, Andrew, a former Big Ten basketball player himself, and Laura. Dakich also has two stepchildren, Jared and Teagan, who currently plays softball at Harvard.
Videos on Dan Dakich
Check out the rich history of Indiana Hoosiers basketball!
Every week, we are publishing new articles on former and current Indiana University basketball legends, historical figures, and other IU history. Our goal is to capture the history of the Hoosiers all in one place. Click here to see our current collection of articles on Indiana basketball tradition.
Have a favorite Indiana Hoosier basketball player, coach, or event?
Help grow the Hoosier basketball history books by being a contributor to one of our IU athletics history pages! IndianaHQ is always looking for writers of all ages and experience levels. If you think you have what it takes, drop us an email here or send us a tweet!
Contributor: Nithin Krishnan