Nate Slaughter, The Black Bear – Signing day 2015 officially ushered in the new era of Dave “Stec” Steckel as the head coach of the Missouri State Bears football team.
Alumni, current players, season ticket holders, and reporters filled the Prime Overtime Club in JQH arena on Feb. 4 in anticipation to hear Coach Steckel speak on his first recruiting class as the Bears head coach.
Steckel and his coaching staff have received 13 national letters of intent from high school seniors on the nationwide signing day.
Coach Steckel was the defensive coach at the University of Missouri- Columbia for the past 14 seasons. Now, he is the 20th head football coach at Missouri State University.
Steckel and his coaching staff immediately got to work after his official coaching announcement on Dec. 14.
Steckel characterized his recruiting class as “high energy” during the press conference.
When the press conference began, Steckel opened up by saying how he was nervous about speaking before the packed out room, but he soon settled in and had the room laughing at his jokes and excited about the future of Missouri State football.
“Bear Up” was a phrase that Steckel constantly reiterated during his time at the podium. Steckel plans to make “Bear Up” a part of the culture which he says needs change at Missouri State University.
Steckel wants students to be more prideful of wearing Bear Wear instead of wearing other school t-shirts like University of Missouri- Columbia, University of Central Missouri, and Kansas State University. That’s why he made the announcement that the football staff would pay for the first fifty Bear Wear t-shirts at the bookstore the next day.
Missouri State University President Clif Smart is enthusiastic about having Steckel as the new head coach.
“I’m really excited about this staff,” Smart said. “To get what appears to be an incredible recruiting class when working for four weeks. You think what can they do when they work on this for the next 365 days.”
Steckel finished the press conference by saying thank you to the crowd and answering a question about what HIO means.
“Hibernation is over and we’re going Bear Up!” Steckel said.