Olathe, KS-Kevin Steele, Director of Athletics at California Baptist University, will become MidAmerica Nazarene University's seventh Director of Athletics August 1. Jason Drummond, Vice President for University Advancement, announced the hiring Monday. Steele will succeed Ron Hill, who retires June 30 after serving in that role for 12 years.
"Kevin Steele is one of the premiere athletic directors nationally and will be a perfect fit for MidAmerica as we continue our quest to become a preeminent institution of Christian higher education," Drummond says. "He has led coaches and players to the highest levels of athletic achievement while always focusing on the larger goal of providing a high quality education. Kevin is a gifted communicator who will strive to continually enhance the quality of experience of each student-athlete. His passionate and inspiring vision will be well received, and I am personally delighted to welcome him to MidAmerica Nazarene University."
Steele emerged from a group of more than 60 candidates. Drummond says, "I am grateful to the search committee for its diligence and care. The committee recommended a candidate who solves problems, believes in the University's values, and embodies the excellence we try to promote."
"I am humbled and honored," Steele says. "Pioneer athletics has a great history and is filled with outstanding coaches who work tirelessly to offer student-athletes the best opportunity for success during their collegiate experience and in their chosen professional fields. It is my hope that we will be able to build on the successes of Ron Hill."
In three years under Steele, California Baptist won nine NAIA national titles, added six new intercollegiate sports, and completed facility renovations, including a new baseball and softball complex. The program set more than 30 school records and six NAIA records and experienced unprecedented success in the classroom under Steele's leadership with 41 National Scholar-Athletes and five Arthur Ashe Jr. Sport Scholar Award winners.
With more than 15 years in collegiate athletic administration, Steele also served as Director of Athletics at Blinn College in Brenham, TX (2004-2005) and Redlands College in El Reno, OK (1994-2004). In 2003, Steele was named Central Region Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
A 1982 graduate of Arizona State University, Steele received a Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of Oklahoma in 1991. While at Oklahoma, he served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Health and Sport Science. Steele then served for two years as the assistant to the athletic business director before spending a year as a program development specialist in the Center for Business and Economic Development. Steele also spent six years as a Director of Youth and Athletics at Monte Vista Nazarene Church in Phoenix (AZ) and another at Baltimore (MD) First Church of the Nazarene.