Dan Steele photo, courtesy of University of Oregon
In the U.S., there are 30,000 head high school cross country and track coaches, and 3,100 head college and university track & cross country coaches. Becoming a head coach in a major college program in track & field is the track coaches’ version of making the pros. A head college coach has paid his or her dues. Years as an assistant, years as an athlete. Such is the case with Dan Steele. Dan has spent the last seven years as the Associate Director of Track & Field at the University of Oregon, as part of the team assembled by Director of Track & Field/Associate Athletic Director, Vinn Lananna.
In college, Dan was an NCAA champion over the 400 meter hurdles! After college, he competed as a decathlete, taking fifth in the 2000 Olympic Trials. In 2002, Dan won an Olympic bronze medal in the four man bobsled in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. No one competes in the 400 meter hurdles, decathlon and bobsled without having tons of drive and an inner need to challenge oneself. That Steele has focused that drive into a career of coaching is fortunate for many young athletes, as a coach leads by example.
A native of Moline, Illinois, Dan was praised by the the athletic department at the University of Oregon (http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=4367&SPID=243&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=204804191). Steele worked all of those years under Vinn Lananna, one of the deans of American university coaches, who had nothing but praise for his former associate. In coaching, the praise and respect of one’s peers is one of the best compliments a young coach can attain. Steele has received those accolades.
Dan’s identical twin brother, Darrin, also competed with Dan in the decathlon, in fact, their scores are only one point apart-Dan has scored 8130, and Darrin has scored 8129. They both competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, contributing to the first Olympic medals for the U.S. in bobsled in 46 years.
We congratulate Dan Steele and wish him the best of luck at Northern Iowa University!
To read more about it: http://mail.google.com/mail/?zx=th5dpdg3wxai#search/runblogrun+feed/124046a645c926f5
For more on our sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com