Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications
Few athletes or coaches have accumulated as diversified and international-caliber of resume as Olympic medalist and NCAA hurdle champion, Dan Steele, the Panthers head coach. Steele is starting his fifth year at the helm of the UNI Track & Field and Cross Country programs. Steele’s experience includes coaching and competing at the highest level in two separate sports (track & field/bobsled). Steele was also a veteran of the US Army, representing the Army's World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) while qualifying for the 1998 Winter Olympics in bobsled and the 1999 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in the decathlon. In 2012, Steele’s most famous pupil, Ashton Eaton established a new world record in the decathlon at the 2012 Olympic Trials and went on to win an Olympic Gold medal at the 2012 London Games.
"I am so excited about the future of this combined UNI program. We have world-class facilities and one of the best coaching staffs in the country. When you also consider the high standard of academics, I believe UNI is one of the best-kept secrets in track and field. There is an unmistakable family atmosphere, not only on this beautiful campus, but also in the Cedar Falls community. It's the kind of place I would want to send my son or daughter to college."
In 2013, Steele led a strong UNI track and field and cross country team that saw the naming of a three 2nd Team NCAA All-Americans, one Honorable Mention NCAA All-American and two Drake Relays Champions. He also led the team to five new UNI school records. At the Missouri Valley Conference level he saw the crowning of nine individual MVC Champions.
The 2013 Panther Men were led by seniors Daniel Gooris and Jordan Williams. Gooris ended an extraordinary career at UNI by winning MVC Outdoor titles in both the Decathlon and the Pole Vault. At the NCAA level, Gooris finished 12th in the Decathlon earning 2nd Team All-America honors. Gooris was also named to the 2013 USA team that competed in the prestigious Thorpe Cup team decathlon challenge against the German national team. Gooris’s decathlon PR of 7804 puts him # 2 all-time at UNI behind only All-American Raven Cepeda. In his career as a Panther, Gooris won six individual MVC titles, two Drake Relays titles and three 2nd Team All-America honors.
Jordan Williams capped off his great career at UNI with an undefeated season through the MVC Championships. In 2013, Williams won a Drake Relays title in the Discus and his third consecutive MVC Discus title. Williams finished his season placing 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and earning 2nd Team All-America honors for the 2nd year in a row. In his career as a Panther, Williams ranks 2nd all-time in the Discus (193’5”) and 2nd in the Shot Put (60’2”).
The 2013 Men sprinters also continued to shine by boasting their 3rd consecutive MVC 4x100m Relay title and 5th consecutive 100m title (Derek Kramer). Indoors, Carlos Anderson won his 3rd consecutive 60m title and Jordan Guske won the 200m. Not to be outdone, the middle distance runners stole the Distance Medley Relay title in dramatic fashion.
The UNI Women were led by sophomore, Paige Knodle. After red-shirting indoors, Knodle established herself as one of the top all-around athletes in the country by qualifying for the Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships in four separate events (100HH, 400H, Javelin, Heptathlon). Knodle reset the UNI javelin school record twice (151’7”) en route to her MVC title in that event. Knodle earned Honorable All-America honors in the Heptathlon finishing 17th at the NCAA Championships.
In 2012, Steele directed the UNI Men's and Women’s track & field squad to one 1st Team NCAA All-America honor, three 2nd Team NCAA All-Americans and two Honorable Mention NCAA All-Americans. He also led the team to nine new UNI school records and an astounding 47 All-Time UNI Top 5 performances. At the conference level he saw the crowning of 10 individual MVC Champions
In Steele’s first four seasons at UNI, Panther athletes have established 20 new UNI records and earned 31 Individual MVC titles. Steele became UNI's head coach on October 1, 2009 following seven seasons at the University of Oregon.
Prior to Northern Iowa, Steele, a native of Sherrard, Ill., was instrumental in leading the University of Oregon combined men's and women's teams to unprecedented success in 2009, where the Duck men won the NCAA Indoor title, the Pac-10 Outdoor Conference title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Not to be outdone, the Duck women won the 2009 Pac-10 Conference title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Steele made history at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships by coaching Ashton Eaton to his second decathlon title and Brianne Theisen to her first heptathlon title. It was the first time in NCAA history both multi-event winners came from the same school. For his efforts, Steele was voted the 2009 Indoor NCAA Coach of the Year.
As the Associate Director of Track and Field at Oregon, Steele was responsible for running the daily operations of the men's and women's track and field teams. Overseeing the sprinters, hurdlers, pole vaulters, decathletes and heptathletes, Steele coached eight NCAA champions, 14 Pac-10 champions, 30 All-Americans and helped Oregon student-athletes establish 22 new school records.
As a post-collegiate athlete, Steele won an Olympic bronze medal as the brakeman on the 2002 four-man bobsled team for the United States at the Salt Lake City Games. Proudly representing the US Army, Steele also finished 8th at the 1999 IAAF world Championships in the Decathlon and won the Silver medal in the same event at the 1999 Pan-Am Games.
Steele is a 1992 graduate of Eastern Illinois University. As a collegiate student-athlete at EIU, Steele captured the NCAA 400-hurdles title as a senior and was a two-time All-American and two-time Drake Relays Champion for the Panthers. In 2001 he was inducted into the EIU Athletics Hall of Fame.
He and his wife, Dusky, have two sons, Xander and Blake, and a daughter, Indira.
The Dan Steele File
Coaching Experience: UNI Head Coach, 2009-present Oregon Associate Director of Track & Field, 2007-2009 Oregon Assistant Track & Field Coach, 2001 and 2003-2007
Coaching Honors: 2009 NCAA Men's Indoor Coach of the Year 2009 NCAA West Regional Women's Coach of the Year 2008 Pac-10 Coach of the Year 2007 West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year (Sprints/Hurdles) 2005 West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year (Sprints/Hurdles)
Student-Athlete Accomplishments: Eight NCAA Champions 45 Conference Champions 31 All-Americans 42 School Records
Personal Athletic Accomplishments: 2002 Olympic Bronze Medal (USA Bobsled Team) 1999 USA Track & Field IAAF World Championship Team (Decathlon - 8th place) 1999 USA Pan American Games Team (Decathlon - Silver Medal) 1998 USA Olympic Team (Bobsled) 1992 NCAA Champion (400m Hurdles) Two-Time NCAA All-American Nine-Time Mid-Continent Conference Champion 2002 Inductee to Quad City Sports Hall of Fame 2001 Inductee to Eastern Illinois University Hall of Fame