One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”.
The post below is the story for April 9, 2015. My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
When you are a college coach you have to recruit. When you recruit often you become involved with the entire family and they become part of your life. That was the case with a young man named Chad Steele that I recruited to play basketball for me at Winthrop University in Rock Hill SC. My staff had seen Chad play in the summer of 1992 and liked him. I did a home visit with his family in Leavenworth, KS and fell in love with the character of his family. His dad was a colonel in the US Army and they were stationed at Ft. Leavenworth. We signed Chad Steele and he enrolled at Winthrop in August 1993.
Chad as a player was a hard driven young man. He was not the most skilled player I ever coached but he never backed down from any challenge that came his way. I promised all of my players at Winthrop that I would attempt to get them connected to someone in their chosen career path during their junior year..
Chad made it clear he wanted to work for a professional sports team. In 1995 during Chad’s junior year the Carolina Panthers began playing in the N.F.L.. They were building a stadium in Charlotte but it would not be completed until 1996 which would be their second season. That first year 1995 they played their home games at Clemson but shared the Winthrop Coliseum with our basketball team. They practiced during the week on the fields behind the coliseum and had locker rooms and makeshift offices inside our facility.
I got to know the Panther Coaches and front office staff including PR Director Charlie Dayton and GM Bill Polian. I asked Charlie Dayton if Chad could shadow him one day and he agreed.
Chad epitomizes the word networking. He took that shadowing opportunity in 1995 and parlayed it into volunteering for the Carolina Panthers, an internship with the Baltimore Ravens, a job with the San Francisco 49er’s, a position back with the Baltimore Ravens and just this week he has been promoted to Vice President of Public Relations for Baltimore Ravens. I am proud of him.
Chad has always had an eye for where the camera might be shining and I catch him on the sidelines during every Ravens telecast. See below Chad is wearing a suit standing between Coach Harbaugh and #10 in a game against the Miami Dolphins.
Chad is from a talented family including a sister named Sage Steele who attended Indiana University from 1991-1995 who is a ESPN on air personality.
The Friend of the Friend -SAGE STEELE
The Products of Great Parents
Chad Steele and Sage Steele are two of three children from a great set of parents-Gary and Mona Steele. The Steele’s also have another sibling a brother named Courtney who is the youngest. Courtney Steele is a model who has been on the cover of GQ magazine. He also has credits such as PUMA and Men’s Health magazines.
Photo of Courtney Steele
Sage Steele earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sports communications in 1995 from IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (today the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington).
Sage Steele is one of ESPN’s most versatile on-air personalities, currently serving as the host of the Friday and Sunday editions of NBA Countdown – ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA pre-game show. Steele, who joined ESPN in 2007, has served as a co-host of ESPN’s 1-3 p.m. ET SportsCenter, the network’s flagship news and information program and, in her new role, will continue to contribute to the show.
Additionally, Sage serves as on-site host of the daytime SportsCenter segments from the NBA Finals where she also presents post final-game interviews. She has also hosted the Scripps National Spelling Bee each year since 2010.
At ESPN, Steele has also served as weekend morning SportsCenter anchor, update host during live daytime SportsCenter editions, contributed to First Take and Mike & Mike in the Morning, and been guest co-host of ESPN2’s SportsNation. Prior to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400, the Indiana University graduate had the honor of driving the pace car at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
She is currently in her second season as the host of “NBA Countdown” — ABC’s and ESPN’s flagship NBA studio show. She is also a central contributor to ESPN’s on-site NBA coverage at the NBA Finals, NBA Conference Finals and NBA All- Star Game.
Before coming to ESPN, Sage worked as a reporter at WSBT-TV in South Bend, Ind.; WISH-TV in Indianapolis; WFTS-TV in Tampa; Fox Sports Florida; and Comcast SportsNet serving Washington and Baltimore. In 2011, she received the Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater Indiana University during the campus’s annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day Dinner. In 2013, she participated in IU’s Diversity Leadership Conference and last year spoke as part of the IU Media School’s lecture series.
These three talented Steele children are the product of Gary and Mona Steele. They are two of the most supportive parents I have ever encountered in all of my years of coaching. Gary Steele played football at West Point and was the first African-American to do so. Gary retired from the Army as a colonel. There is a great piece ESPN did on Gary Steele at link below: (see if you recognize the narrator)
Glad the entire Steele Family was a part of my life-Gary and Mona Steele are great parents that have a lot to be proud of.