GREENVILLE, N.C. – Dale Steele, a football coaching veteran of 36 seasons on staffs at the high school and collegiate levels, has been appointed director of football administration at East Carolina University according to an announcement from fourth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill Friday.
Before accepting McNeill's offer to join the Pirate staff in an administrative capacity, Steele recently served as offensive coordinator at Gardner-Webb last spring after a seven-year head coaching tenure at Campbell.
In addition to oversight of on-campus recruiting and program marketing, he will also provide a day-to-day ancillary support role with the athletics department's compliance and student development divisions.
Prior to briefly taking the GWU position, Steele orchestrated the startup of a Fighting Camels’ football program that had observed a 50-year hiatus. His work, which began in 2006, was realized in just five short seasons when Campbell posted a 6-5 overall record and a 5-3 mark in Pioneer League play, which included a 42-28 win over perennial league power San Diego. In three of his seven years in Buies Creek, the Camels ranked among the Football Championship Subdivision's (FCS) Top 20 rushing leaders.
His appointment at ECU also marks a return to a Pirate program that he served from 1989 to 1994 under head coaches Bill Lewis and Steve Logan. During his six seasons on the offensive side of the ball, he helped East Carolina to a pair of post-season appearances - the 1992 Peach Bowl and 1994 Liberty Bowl. Steele was also the Pirates' recruiting coordinator in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
He initiated his collegiate coaching career at Ball State in 1977 as a graduate assistant before earning his first full-time position a year later at Wisconsin. He helped Tulane to a Hall of Fame Bowl appearance in 1980 and spent three years on the Green Wave staff working primarily with tight ends.
Steele, 57, moved to Wichita State in 1984 and followed with a two-year stint at Kansas State where he coached the Wildcats' receivers, tight ends and offensive special teams before arriving at ECU.
He accepted the athletics director and head football coach duties at Northern Nash (N.C.) High School in 1995 and remained in that role until College Football Hall of Famer Grant Teaff hired him at Big 12 Conference member Baylor in 1999 where he was the Bears' wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for four years. He joined the East Tennessee State staff in 2003 as assistant head coach and held the same title at Elon in 2004 and 2005.
As a player, Steele earned a roster position as a walk-on at South Carolina and won three letters with the Gamecocks.
A native of Prattville, Ala., Steele earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1976 from South Carolina before following with a master's in physical education from Ball State in 1978. He is married to the former Pamela Kilpatrick of Prattville and they are the parents of two daughters - Meghan (Penny, married to Triton High School defensive coordinator Ben Penny) and Kelsey.