Dan Steele, whose exemplary resume includes experiences as an Olympic medalist, NCAA champion and head coach, is Iowa State’s new Men’s & Women’s Associate Head Track & Field coach.
Courtesy Cyclone Athletics
Steele, most recently, served as Head Men’s & Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Coach (2009-15) at Northern Iowa.
As an athlete, Steele was the 1992 NCAA Champion in the 400-meter hurdles at Eastern Illinois. Post-college, he won a silver medal in the decathlon at the 1999 Pan-American Games and represented the United States at the 1999 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Spain.
After his track career ended, Steele began training for the bobsled. He was brakeman on the 2002 USA Olympic team that earned a bronze medal in Salt Lake City, ending a 46-year medal drought in the sport for the U.S. Steele competed in three USA Olympic Trials in the bobsled and made the 1998 team, too.
As head coach of the Panthers’ track & field programs, Steele helped his student-athletes set 35 school records and win 49 Missouri Valley Conference individual titles.
Before returning to the Midwest in 2009 to lead the UNI program, the Sherrard, Ill., native was Associate (2007-09) and Assistant (2001, 2003-07) Head Men’s and Women’s Coach at Oregon. He worked alongside current Cyclone Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Martin Smith (for four seasons) with the Ducks.
“Dan’s reputation as both a coach and athlete will impact our program significantly and our student-athletes will be the greatest beneficiaries,” Smith said. “It is also a huge plus that we have worked together and share a passion and vision for helping our athletes reach their personal potentials on and off the track. He is well known and respected across the nation and we could not have found a better fit.”
There is a mutual respect between Smith and Steele.
“I’m thrilled to work with Martin Smith again,” Steele said. “Martin gave me my start at Oregon and has been a close friend for more than 15 years. He’s one of the greatest minds in coaching and is building the Cyclone program into of the finest in the country. I am honored and excited to be part of the Cyclone family.”
While in Eugene, Steele helped coach a remarkable 2009 campaign when the men’s team won the NCAA Indoor Championship, the Pac-10 Outdoor Meet and was runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championship and the women’s squad earned the Pac-10 Outdoor title and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championship.
Steele is recognized nationally as one of best multi-event coaches in the nation and has a reputation – especially in the Midwest and the state of Iowa – as an outstanding evaluator, recruiter and developer of elite talent.
At Oregon in 2009, he became the first coach in NCAA history to mentor both the NCAA decathlon (Ashton Eaton) and heptathlon (Brianne Theisen) champion in the same season. Eaton won two decathlon titles for the Ducks under Steele’s guidance and set a World Record in his specialty before capturing the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal in London.
As a college coach, Steele has coached eight NCAA Champions, 64 conference champions and 32 First-team All-Americans. His coaching honors include: 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 and 2007 and 2005 West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year (sprints/hurdles).
He earned his B.A. degree in sociology from Eastern Illinois in 1992. Steele was a two-time All-American and two-time Drake Relays champion for the Panthers and was inducted into EIU’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
Steele, a U.S. Army veteran, and his wife (Dusky) have three children: Xander, Blake and Indira.