Bob Steele’s bio


Coach Bob Steele

Bob had more than a 56-year coaching tenure, starting as a High School and Club Coach in Peoria, Illinois, and then in Carbondale, Illinois. He coached at Southern Illinois University, but he also received his undergraduate degree, and Master's degrees from the College of Education and Human Services from SIU.

  • SIU recognized him as Distinguished Alumni for Career Achievements in 2016. 

Bob's coaching career:

  • 1959 - 1962 - Carbondale Sharks – SIU Grad Assistant
  • 1963 - 1966 - Richwoods HS – Peoria Swim Club
  • 1967 - 1970 - Deerfield HS – Deerfield Swim Club
  • 1971 - 1973 - Swim Coach, Northwestern University
  • 1974 - 1984 - Head Swim Coach, Southern Illinois University
  • 1985 - 1987 - Orlando International Aquatic Center
  •  1987 - 1995 - Director of Athlete/Coach Development, United States Swimming
  • 1998 - 2004 - Head Swim Coach, California State University-Bakersfield
  • 2005 - 2016 - Master Coach/Consultant - USA Swimming 

Bob has coached at all levels with 17 swimmers World Ranked in 37 events, two American Record Holders, five NCAA II Team Championships, seven NCAA II Record Holders, 9 NCAA I Top 20 finishes and six National Independent Championship teams.

As a member of the USA Swimming Master Coach / Consulting Program, he conducted 140 USA-S Team Excellence Camps for teams with a world ranked underclass swimmer and fine coaching staff, along with more than 50 of his Winning Spirit Racing Camps. He has presented to more than 30,000 coaches at ISCA, ASCA, FINA, LSCs, Canada and H.S. Coaches Associations and 31 countries.

Presently Bob serves as a mentor for CSCAA and ASCA and conducts clinics and talks for teams.

The CSCAA selected him as one of the Top 100 Coaches in the last 100 years.

Bob's induction into the ISCA Hall of Fame happened on March 28, 2022.

Besides his book, Games, Gimmicks, Challenges for Swimming Coaches, he also was known as the fun coach who's focus was distracted pain.

Plus, he has painted more than 100 acrylic paintings.

HOF class of 2022 with blazers

Bob Steele, Jack Simon, Maureen Sheehan, Steve Bultman, Jon Urbanchek, Ernie Maglischo at the ISCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 28, 2022.

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