Todd Stepsis Named Drake University Head Football Coach

first_imgTodd Stepsis, the architect of the Drake football team’s nationally ranked defense, has been named the head coach of the Drake University football team, director of athletics Brian Hardin announced Friday, Dec. 21.Stepsis will be formally introduced as the 27th head coach in Drake history at a press conference following the holiday break.”Todd distinguished himself from an incredible applicant pool because of his familiarity with our program and the vision he shared for the future of Drake football,” Drake director of athletics Brian Hardin said. “Todd has directed the best defense in our league for many years, but he has also consistently developed the young men in our program academically, socially, and mentally.  Todd has been an excellent fit at Drake and I look forward to seeing the heights to which he will lead our program.”Stepsis, 41, takes the reins of the Bulldogs’ program after serving as the program’s defensive coordinator for the past five seasons under previous head coach Rick Fox, who resigned his position Dec. 10.As the defensive coordinator, Stepsis built the Drake defense into one of the nation’s top units and coached a total of 42 all-conference selections including the program’s all-time leading tackler and the most recent Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year, Nathan Clayberg.”I cannot express how excited, appreciative and honored I am to be the next head football coach at Drake University,” Stepsis said. “I’ve been fortunate for 20 years to have a job that doesn’t feel like work and these past five years have taken my love of coaching football and mentoring young men to a whole new level. Our student-athletes, coaches and University are so special and I can’t wait to get back from break so we can get after it.”This past season, he led a defense that was one of the best in the nation as the Bulldogs ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense (19.1 ppg), ninth in total defense (296.0 ypg), sixth in rushing defense (96.8 ypg), 10th in interceptions (17 INT), 10th in tackles for loss (8.1 TFL/g) and 15th in defensive touchdowns (3). A pair of his defensive standouts, Nathan Clayberg and Will Warner, earned a total of four All-America honors with Warner leading the nation in interception return yardage (223 yards) and finishing second in the nation with a school-record eight interceptions.In 2017, Stepsis’ defensive unit led the PFL in total defense (335.3 ypg.), pass defense (199.7 ypg.) and first downs (18.0) and finished second in sacks with 27. The Bulldogs held their opponents under 330 yards of total offense seven times and limited teams to 200 yards passing or less six times.Stepsis was named to Fox’s staff at Drake before the 2014 season following six seasons in the same role at Division II power Saginaw Valley State. There, he helped coach the Cardinals to a 44-23 record, three-consecutive GLIAC North Division titles and three NCAA playoff berths.At Saginaw Valley, he coached 37 defensive all-conference performers, including the conference’s all-time leading tackler and three standouts that went on to NFL and CFL careers. Before joining the SVSU staff, he was an assistant at Capital University for eight seasons during which the program amassed a 57-20 record and earned three straight NCAA Division III playoff berths from 2005-07. The team advanced to the quarterfinals in 2005 and 2006. He began his coaching career at Otterbein where he coached the top-ranked pass defense in the conference and helped the program to its first winning season in nearly two decades.Stepsis, a native of Shelby, Ohio, graduated with magna cum laude honors from Ashland University, where he was a four-year member of the football team, in 1999 with a degree in special education. He also received a master’s degree from Ashland in sport education. He and his wife, Angie, have two daughters, Addison and Avery. He is also father to a son, Zander, and daughter, Zoe. Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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