Oct. 26, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Saturday, Oct. 29, will be Coach Jack Steck Day in Springfield. Steck, who has combined for 44 years as head swimming coach at Drury University and Missouri State University, will be honored in a reception Saturday at 11 a.m., in the Union Club on the fourth floor of Plaster Student Union at Missouri State.
At that event, he will receive a proclamation making Saturday his day in Springfield. The proclamation is signed by Springfield Mayor Jim O'Neal and will be presented by Springfield City Councilman Scott Bailes.
Steck is in his final season after 29 years as Missouri State's men's swimming coach, and has also guided the MSU women's team since he added that sport to the MSU intercollegiate athletics program 13 years ago. His MSU time followed 15 seasons as Drury's men's swimming coach.
Steck's teams fashioned a 134-50 dual meet mark from 1968-83 at Drury in a tenure which included the Panthers' first two NAIA national championships in 1981 and 1982. Drury finished no lower than fourth in the NAIA national meet his last nine Panther seasons. He coached 58 NAIA All-Americans and 27 individual national champions with a squad that was nationally-ranked 14 years in a row. He was the NAIA Men's National Coach of the Year in 1975 and 1982. He also coached the Panthers to their first MCAU title in 1967.
At Missouri State, his men's teams have collected 11 league championships spread over the four conferences in which the Bears have competed since MSU moved to the NCAA Division I level in 1982, while the MSU women have captured Missouri Valley Conference titles eight of the past nine seasons since that program was established. He has received more than a dozen conference coach of the year honors with more than 120 individual league titles for his MSU swimmers. His combined men's and women's Missouri State dual meet record entering the current season was 344-167-1.
A 1992 inductee into the NAIA Hall of Fame for swimming and diving, Steck went into the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
A native of South Bend, Ind., and a graduate of Indiana State University, Steck received the ISU Distinguished Alumni Athletic Award and earned the designation Master Coach from the Swimming Coaches Association of America.
Steck and his wife, Sandi, have two sons, Scott and Brad, and three granddaughters.
Steck has also guided age group swimming programs during his time at both Drury and MSU, and his former swimmers at all levels are invited to attend Saturday's reception.