2017 was Daniella Pappas' first full season as the top assistant for VMI women's soccer, after being hired in April 2017. In that year, the Keydets lowered their goals allowed per game for the third straight season, sparked by goalkeeper Ceci Keppeler finishing 11th in Division 1 in saves per game.
"We are very excited to have Daniella join our program," said VMI head coach Chris Bergmann at the time of hiring. "She comes to us with great experience at multiple levels, and possesses a coach's heart and excellent knowledge of the game. She will be a dynamic member of our staff, bringing her wealth of knowledge to all parts of our program: recruiting, tactical and technical training, goalkeeper knowledge and the ability to help develop our camps and clinics. In addition, she brings quality experience in terms of leadership and character development, which goes hand in hand with the VMI model."
Pappas comes to VMI after spending two seasons at Davidson College, where she worked with the Wildcat goalkeepers and assisted with the day-to-day operations of the team.
Prior to that, she had spent a year in her home state of Iowa at Ashford University in Clinton, where she helped the women's soccer program to a nine-win season and the school's third straight Association of Independent Institutions (AII) title game appearance. Pappas tutored the team's keepers to eight shutouts and a 1.15 GAA. Freshman goalkeeper Nyla Peterkin was named to the A.I.I. honorable mention after starting 19 of 20 games and earning all eight shutouts to go with 72 saves.
Pappas spent the 2013 season as an assistant coach at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. During the 2013 season, Belmont Abbey was ranked 3rd in the Southeast Region, while earning an NCAA berth and a Sweet 16 finish. Goalkeeper Hannah Kohls was named all-conference first-team, Conference Carolinas Scholar Athlete of the Year, NSCAA All Scholar Southeast Region and NSCAA All Southeast Region under Pappas' direction.
Also during her year in North Carolina, Pappas was the head coach of a U13 traveling girls team through the Carolina Rapids organization. She was also part of the coaching staff for the U10 youth academy program.
Prior to moving to Belmont Abbey, Pappas was a graduate assistant at University of Central Missouri where she coached under Lewis Theobald.
Pappas earned a masters degree in special education at Central Missouri.