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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Dave Steckel to Lead MSU Bears Football

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Missouri State University's new head football coach will bring a defensive minded approach to the Bears.

Dave Steckel spent 14 years with the University of Missouri. His hire as the new coach for MSU was announced Sunday. As associate head coach and defensive coordinator in Columbia, Steckel helped produce a total of 15 all-conference linebacker selections at MU, including a number players who have forged professional careers in the National Football League. He was the only defensive coach among the five finalists for the 2014 Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.

“His reputation within the industry is impeccable, and he has a proven track record of success,” said Kyle Moats, MSU director of athletics. “He has coached and recruited in the toughest league in America.  His defenses have been at the top of the Big 12, SEC and national rankings in many statistical categories. With him, a new attitude and culture begins today.”

Steckel's five-year agreement will include a base salary of $270,000, including compensation for radio and television shows, according to a news release. The contract, which will be formally approved by the Missouri State Board of Governors at its next scheduled meeting Jan. 21, also includes performance incentives.

Steckel replaces Terry Allen, whose contract was not renewed after compiling a 37-64 record in his nine seasons in Springfield.

Under Steckel’s tutelage, Missouri’s defense has helped the Tigers in back-to-back Southeastern Conference East Division titles. MU leads the SEC and ranks 10th nationally in sacks per game through its first 13 games of 2014. This season, MU ranks 23rd in the country in total defense and 26th in scoring defense.

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