McDaniel said he was surprised by receiving the award.
“As long as I’ve known him he has been a great supporter of athletics,” TSSAA District coordinator and Bradley Central athletic director Turner Jackson said.
The award is given to a system administrator for “displaying the high ideals of integrity and ethics and citizenship and sportsmanship,” according to Jackson.
McDaniel said sports can teach students so much about leadership, time management and overcoming obstacles.
“When you have a great coach, who is a great inspirer and mentor to young people I think that’s just one of those ... teachers in life that help you become a better person,” McDaniel said.
The ethics of sports are also important to him.
“I do believe that its not just about winning. Winning is important. We want to win, but how you go about winning is really important,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said he tries to attend many of the high school sports games, and has attended every regional, district and state tournament in high school wrestling since he been director of schools.
“We have some of the top (wrestling) programs in the state right here,” McDaniel said.
Whenever any team makes it to the regional, district or state level, McDaniel tries to recognize the team for their accomplishments at a Board of Education meeting.
Recipients are nominated for the A.F. Bridges award by the Citizenship/Sportsmanship committee in each of the Tennessee athletic disticts. Final selections are made by the State Selection committee. The award is named for the first director of the TSSAA.