LIGONIER - He's earned All-American honors, won a national title in college and played among All-Pros in the NFL. Now he's back home, and looking to help lead the Noble County Wolfpack to a championship.
Glen Steele, a 1993 West Noble graduate who ultimately played six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been named defensive coordinator of the Wolfpack, members of the Interstate Football League.
"I'm tickled to death," Wolfpack coach Tom Marsh said. "What semipro football team can say they have a former NFL player coaching with them?
"It's going to mean technique-wise, we'll be as sound as anybody. Glen's forgot more than I ever even thought about knowing. We're just going to be so much more sound, and that's what wins football games. He's down to earth, and he's going to fit in just perfect with these guys."
Steele is set to take the reins of a defense that finished third in the IFL last season in points allowed. With last year's defensive coordinator Danny Rodriguez leaving the team to coach track at Defiance College in northwest Ohio, Marsh explained that it was a perfect fit.
"He's just looking to get back here and looking to coach, and I told him, 'You need to come coach with me'," Marsh said.
Steele brings experience aplenty, having earned the Dick Katcher award during Michigan's national championship season in 1997, an award given to the Wolverines' best defensive lineman. While playing with the Bengals, Steele was coached by Dick LeBeau, widely considered one of the greatest defensive minds in the NFL.
The opportunity for Steele to join the Wolfpack coach staff presented itself when the former West Noble standout decided to move back home. He explained that it was a tough decision to leave his home in Florida, but he wanted to share his knowledge in the community where he grew up.
"I'm coming back, and I'm looking for a place that I feel I can help and use my experience," Steele said. "It gives you an opportunity to give back to other athletes."
Marsh coached Steele at West Noble Middle School, and the two stayed close through the years. Marsh explained that he traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. to watch Steele play in college, and continued to follow Steele during his years with the Bengals.
Now Steele has returned to the area not only to help out Marsh and the Wolfpack, but he also has eyes on landing a coaching position at an area high school.
"It's always nice to be around family and friends and people you grew up with," Steele said of his return. "I never forgot where I came from. I'm just throwing it out there that I'm here, and i'm going to see what comes available if anything."
Steele knows that ultimately accepting a head coaching position at an area high school will require plenty of work. Then again, putting in the hours to run a successful program is nothing he's not accustomed to, having served two years as an assistant at Michigan.
"You're there all day every day," Steele said. "The hours get tedious at times. You can be there breaking down film, studying formations, and the next thing you know, you get there at 6:30 a.m. for the first staff meeting, and you're leaving at 12 at night.
"Do you need this at the high school level? No, but at the same breath, I will make sure that not only my staff but my players know everything about (the week's opponent) before they play them."
And it's not like Steele doesn't have resources to look to if there's something that stumps him. Far from it, in fact. Having kept ties with former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr and current LSU coach Les Miles, among many others, Steele won't have to search long to find the answer to his question.
"I talk to all those guys on a regular basis," Steele said. "If I get stuck on something, there's plenty of guys I can talk to that have years of experience and can help."
Having a coach with all that experience and all those connections on his coaching staff, there's one word that sums up Marsh's outlook for the 2010 Wolfpack season - excitement.
"I wish we were starting next week," Marsh said. "I've already received several phone calls from players that found out about Steele joining us, and there's no doubt it boosts our program."
As in sign a contract?
As in paid coaches?
If the IFL travels down this route, things will get very one sided very quickly.
There you go, I changed the headline. Nowhere in the story did I mention anything about money, but I'm sorry for any potential confusion that may have occurred due to my word choice.
I think you are mis-lead by the word signed, we have all our players and coaches sign a(code of conduct), I am sure all teams do the same. As far as getting paid, I do not think you read that anywhere. If you know of some teams that are "Paying Coaches" please don't tell him, he would leave us in a hurry. He does make me buy the beer most of the time, is that considered pay?
Selected the Dick Katcher Award winner as the top Michigan defensive lineman during the 1997 national championship season, Glen Steele closed out his Michigan career tied for second on the career sacks list with 24. He was named a first team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media in 1997 and was an American College Football Coaches Association First-Team All-American. A Ligonier, Ind. native, Steele completed his career with 45 tackles for loss. He was a fourth-round pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
The McHenry County Pirates (MSFL)added Chuck Dickerson to their staff to take over the Offense.
Dickerson was the Defensive Cordinator for the Buffalo Bills back in the day when...well they actually were winning some games
Dickerson coached in 2 Super Bowls....
Good to see some NFL experience brought to the Midwest
Great addition Coach Marsh, I am glad to be on a team that is seeking to bring a championship to a class organization. Looking forward to playing for you Coach Steele.
Its great to see you guys land a coach like Glen Steele.