UNI Track & Field Camps
Head coach Dan Steele recently finished his second year at the helm of the UNI Track and Field and Cross Country programs. Following seven seasons at the University of Oregon, Steele became UNI's head coach on October 1, 2009.
In 2011, Steele nearly directed the UNI Men's Track and Field squad to two upset victories at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships. After being picked to finish fourth as a team in both February and May, the Panthers fought to the finish twice, remaining in contention until the final event in two of the closest conference-meet finishes in league history. Between the two meets, UNI missed out on two MVC team titles by a combined 27.5 points.
Steele also continued to direct the women's program into a contender on the conference level, while guiding three individuals to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds. In all, he oversaw six new school records by the Panther women in 2011, including a Missouri Valley Conference all-time record in the 800m by All-American Holli Hosch. Steele coached Olimpia Nowak to second-team All-America honors twice in 2011, as Nowak claimed 10th place in the heptathlon outdoors and 12th place in the indoor pentathlon at the NCAA Championships.
On an individual level, Steele also directed Daniel Gooris to an MVC title in the decathlon and Jenna Wexter to a new indoor school record in the pole vault. He helped Gooris and Sam Kranz to their second-consecutive appearances at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds in the pole vault. Under Steele's guidance, the UNI men's 4x100m relay team of Carlos Anderson, Derek Kramer, Wilmot Wellington and Jarred Herring won an MVC title and qualified for the NCAA Championships where they earned honorable mention All-America status.
Despite the late start and coaching transitions, the Panther track and field athletes enjoyed an impressive 2010 campaign. Steele wasted no time with his goal to build the women's program into a dominant conference and national-class team. The women established an impressive four new UNI records in 2010 (indoor pole vault, outdoor 800m, outdoor pole vault and sprint medley) and the men and women combined for a total six individual Missouri Valley Conference titles.
"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."
Prior to Northern Iowa, Steele, a native of Sherrard, IL, 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 Conference title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships. Not to be outdone, the Duck women won the 2009 Pac-10 Conference title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor meet.
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.
"My extraordinary experience at Oregon has prepared me well to take over the program at the University of Northern Iowa," Steele said. "I had the great pleasure of working for and learning from two of the most brilliant head coaches in the business, Vin Lananna and Martin Smith. In that time, I also enjoyed coaching some of the finest track and field athletes in America."
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 has coached eight NCAA champions, 13 Pac-10 champions, 30 All-Americans and helped Oregon student-athletes establish 22 new school records.
As an athlete, Steele competed as the brakeman on the Olympic bronze medal four-man bobsled team for the United States at the 2002 Games.
Steele earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Eastern Illinois in 1992. As a collegiate student-athlete at EIU, Steele captured the 400-hurdles NCAA title as a senior and was a two-time All-American and two-time Drake Relays champion for the Panthers. He was inducted into the EIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
He and his wife, Dusky, have two sons, Xander and Blake, and a daughter, Indira.
The Dan Steele File
B.A. Sociology, Eastern Illinois, 1992
UNI Head Coach, 2009-present
Oregon Associate Director of Track & Field, 2007-2009
Oregon Assistant Track & Field Coach, 2001 and 2003-2007
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)
Eight NCAA Champions
19 Conference Champions
26 School Records
Personal Athletic Accomplishments:
2002 Olympic Bronze Medal (USA Bobsled Team)
1999 USA Track & Field 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