Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications
Few athletes or coaches have accumulated as diversified of a resume as Olympic medalist and NCAA hurdle champion, Dan Steele. The Panthers head coach is starting his seventh year at the helm of the UNI Track & Field and Cross Country programs. Steele’s experience includes being named NCAA Coach of the Year and personally competing at the highest level in two separate sports (track & field and 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. Steele is now recognized as one of the top multi-event and sprints/hurdles coaches in the country. In 2012, Steele’s most famous pupil, Ashton Eaton established a new world record in the decathlon and went on to win an Olympic Gold medal at the 2012 London Games.
Since his arrival, Steele has led his Panther athletes to 35 new UNI records and 49 Individual MVC titles. Steele became UNI's head coach on October 1, 2009, following seven seasons at the University of Oregon.
"I am so excited about the future of this UNI track and field 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 the 2014-2015 season, Steele led a young but strong UNI track and field and cross country team that established 14 new UNI school records, saw the crowning of ten individual Missouri Valley Conference Champions, one 2nd Team NCAA All-American and two Honorable Mention NCAA All-Americans.
The 2015 Panther Men were led by sophomore sprinter, Brandon Carnes. The eight-time MVC champion remained undefeated in the MVC by sweeping the Indoor 60m and 200m, and Outdoor 100m and 200m. Carnes established a new MVC and UNI school record in the 60m with his time of 6.69. Carnes also dominated the Outdoor sprints with his blistering 10.10 in the 100m and 20.31 in the 200m. The sophomore ran all eight of his 200m races under 21.0 and ended his outdoor campaign as an Honorable Mention All-American.
The UNI Sprinters have now won seven consecutive MVC 100m titles and five consecutive MVC 60m (Indoor) titles.
The freshman decathlon duo of Jayvon Matthews and Derek Jacobus announced themselves in a big way at the Outdoor MVC Championships. Indoor runner-up, Matthews, went into the final event (1500m) of the decathlon with a slim lead over teammate Jacobus. Both men ran big personal bests with Jacobus dramatically taking the title over Matthews by a mere eight points, scoring 6921 to Matthews 6913.
The UNI Women were led by senior, Alex Wilson. Wilson set an incredible, six individual UNI records and was part of one relay record in her 2014-2015 campaign. She also won three individual MVC titles. The Panther women were impressive, establishing ten new UNI records.
Prior to Northern Iowa, Steele, a native of Sherrard, Ill., served as the Associate Head Men’s and Women’s Coach at the University of Oregon. Steele was instrumental in leading Oregon’s 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 title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Not to be outdone, the Duck women won the 2009 Pac-10 Outdoor 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 named 2009 NCAA Coach of the Year.
As an athlete, Steele competed as the brakeman on the 2002 USA Olympic Bobsled Team that won bronze medal. In 1999 Steele represented the United States at the Pan Am Games in track and field where he won a silver medal in the decathlon. Later that summer Steele represented the United States at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships where he finished 8th in the decathlon. As a collegiate at Eastern Illinois University, Steele won the 1992 NCAA I title in the 400m hurdles.
Steele is a 1992 graduate of Eastern Illinois University. As an EIU student-athlete, Steele captured the 400-hurdles NCAA title, was a two-time All-American and two-time Drake Relays champion. He was inducted into the EIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
He and his wife, Dusky, have three kids; Xander, 11, Blake, six, and Indira, four.
The Dan Steele File
Coaching Experience: UNI Head Track & Field Coach, 2009-present University of Oregon Associate Head Track & Field Coach, 2007-2009 University of 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 64 Conference Champions 32 1st Team NCAA All-Americans 57 School Records
Personal Athletic Accomplishments: 2002 Olympic Bronze Medal (USA Bobsled Team) 1999 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