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Northern Iowa beckons Steele.

Byline: Curtis Anderson The Register-Guard

Oregon associate director of track and field Dan Steele confirmed he will be named head coach of the University of Northern Iowa men's and women's track and field and cross country programs today.

Reached Monday night, Steele declined further comment. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier newspaper planned to report Steele's hiring in today's print edition.

Steele will be introduced at a press conference to announce the new head coach at 2 p.m. (PDT) at the McLeod Center alumni suite in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A live stream will be made available on the UNI athletics Web site at www.unipanthers.com.

Steele, 40, is in his seventh season on the UO track and field coaching staff. He is a native of Moline, Ill., which is about 150 miles southeast of Cedar Falls.

Steele, the 1992 NCAA 400-meter hurdles champion at Eastern Illinois, was chosen as the Panthers' next coach from a field of six finalists.

The other candidates were UNI associate head coach Mark Napier, former UNI track athlete and current Nevada head coach Shantel Twiggs, UNI volunteer assistant Steve Lynn, Memphis coach Kevin Robinson and Western Illinois coach Mike Stevenson.

At Oregon, Steele is responsible for overseeing the daily operation of the men's and women's track and field teams. He is also in charge of the UO men's sprinters and hurdlers, pole vaulters and multi-event performers.

Two of his athletes, Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen, won NCAA titles in the decathlon and heptathlon, respectively, last season. It was the first time that one school produced both multi-event champions in the same year.

Eaton, a two-time NCAA decathlon champion, will be a senior this year, and Theisen will be a junior. Both of them went on to compete in the World Championships in Berlin last August. Theisen competed as the Canadian national champion, while Eaton was a member of Team USA.

Steele has won numerous coaching honors over the past seven seasons. He was named 2009 NCAA Indoor Men's Track and Field Coach of the Year after the Duck men won their first NCAA indoor crown last March.

The Northern Iowa job opened in August when Travis Geopfert resigned after one year as head coach to become an assistant at Arkansas. Razorback head coach Chris Bucknam was UNI's coach from 1984 to 2008, and Geopfert was an assistant under Bucknam at Northern Iowa for five seasons.

The Panthers have won 10 straight men's indoor titles in the Missouri Valley Conference and three consecutive men's outdoor league crowns.

The 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held June 9-12 at Hayward Field.
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Title Annotation:Track-Field Oregon
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 29, 2009
Words:436
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