In recognition of Stan Steidel's service to Dayton High School athletics, not to mention his state-wide accomplishments such as The All "A" Classic, the DHS gym floor will be dedicated as "Stan Steidel Court" this Saturday, January 13 at 7 p.m.
A baseball coach (I missed him by a year), a basketball coach (I was vertically challenged) and a football coach (I had the honor of playing for him), there was so much more to the man than X's and O's, play diagramming or pitching changes. I will always remember Stan for making a couple of rough times in my young life much more tolerable.
In August of 1974, two weeks before the first football game of my junior year, my dad died of a sudden heart attack. Coach Steidel told me to take all of the time I needed before coming back to practice. But after what happened on the day of the funeral, I have held him in the highest regard.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was standing in a daze in front of St. John's Episcopal Church at Eighth and O'Fallon, waiting to put the most dreaded day of my life behind me. All of the sudden I looked up and saw a sea of green. Walking down the street from the old DHS at Eighth and Walnut was Stan Steidel, leading 2 single file lines of all of my teammates in their game jerseys.
The sight of all of my teammates, many who never attended church or been in one before for that matter, had turned me into a blubbering mess. So Stan walked up to me, gave me a hug and said, "Come on buddy, be strong for your mother." And instantly the tears stopped as I was able to do just that.
A few months later, while playing catcher for the baseball team, Stan was in attendance at Newport Catholic for our district game vs. the Newport Wildcats. During that game, I took a knee to the head during a run-down, and being knocked out I somehow held onto the ball for the last out of the inning. As fate would have it, I was due to lead off the inning. Still seeing stars and not even realizing the pitcher had already come to the plate with the ball, Stan recognized the situation and stopped the game to take me to St. Luke hospital. Three hours later, he drove me home and explained to my mom I had suffered a concussion. Long before concussion protocol existed, Stan knew exactly what to do.
Congratulations, Coach Steidel, on all of your accomplishments as a coach and athletic director. But most of all, I thank you for all of the kind things you have done for many student/athletes over the past 52 years. Your special day is long overdue.
Dayton Community News