A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Dayton Independent Schools to honor graduate Stan Steidel for 52 years of dedication to NKY athetics

As a child, Stan Steidel lived on Maple Street in Dayton, where he grew up playing basketball, baseball, and football with his friends on the street.
 
“We played sports every single day of our lives when we were kids,” Steidel recalled recently. Steidel and his childhood friends, who called themselves the “Maple Street Maulers,” would regularly challenge kids from other areas of Dayton for bragging rights about who had the best sports teams in the city.
 
Steidel parlayed that early passion for sports into three-sport career at Dayton High School, athletic scholarships to two colleges, and ultimately, a 52-year career as a coach and athletic director at several Northern Kentucky high schools, including the first 34 years of his career working at his alma matter, Dayton Independent Schools.
 
In recognition of Steidel’s 52 years of dedication to Dayton schools and high-school athletics in Northern Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Dayton Independent Schools will recognize Steidel on Jan. 13 when the high school gymnasium floor is dedicated as “Stan Steidel Court.” The dedication ceremony will be held immediately prior to the start of the Ninth Region All-A Girls Finals, which starts at 7 p.m.

 

Steidel graduated from Dayton High School in 1959, where he played basketball and baseball and ran track. He was awarded a basketball athletic scholarship to attend Brewton Parker Junior College in Mt. Vernon, Ga., where he played for two years before transferring to Villa Madonna College in Covington (now Thomas More College), to play for Coach Jim Weir.
 
“The coaches that I had in high school and college were amazing people who helped shape me into the person I am today,” Steidel said. “I knew early on that I wanted to follow in their footsteps and serve as coach and teacher to young men and women when I graduated from college.”
 
After a two-year stint in the Army, Steidel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Cincinnati in 1966 and later obtained a master’s degree in education from Xavier University. Upon graduation from UC, Dayton High School immediately employed Steidel as a teacher and coach.
 
He coached baseball, football, and basketball at the high school, where he is the school’s winningest coach with more than 300 victories over 34 years. He also served as the school’s athletic director for 25 years. Steidel said he still sees many of the students he coached over the years, including one who is his cardiologist and another who is his podiatrist.
 
Steidel said he was caught by surprise when he heard about the recognition at Dayton High School.
 
“It’s something that I never thought about and didn’t expect. I was just doing my job and I’ve been away from Dayton schools for 18 years now,” he said. “You don’t ever want to forget where you came from — and I’m proud I came from Dayton, Ky. — but I’m really pleased that they haven’t forgotten about me, either.”
 
Jay Brewer, superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools, said the school district’s decision to dedicate the gym floor in Steidel’s honor was based not only on his contributions to Dayton schools but his to assistance to many other schools and students in the region and across the state.
 

“Stan Steidel’s contributions high school athletics in Kentucky have been tremendous,” Brewer said. “When people talk about the All A Classic, the first name they mention is Stan Steidel, not to mention his many years of involvement with high school athletics on the state and regional level. This recognition is a way to show our appreciation of his many years of work and dedication to both our students and those from around the state.”      
 
For the past 18 years, Steidel has been employed by the Covington Independent Public Schools, where he currently serves as athletic director. During his 52-year career, Steidel has devoted many hours to the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association (KHSADA) and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA). As a KHSADA members since 1971, he has served as president of the organization and many terms on its board. Since 1991, he has served four terms on the KHSAA Board of Control, representing the Ninth and Tenth Regions, and this includes service as both president and chairman of its finance committee.
 
Steidel also serves as executive director of the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference, Kentucky’s oldest high school athletic conference, and is one of the founders of the Kentucky All A Classic and has served as director on its board since its inception 38 years ago. Steidel considers starting the All A Classic as one of his most important contributions to Kentucky high school athletics.
 
“Starting the All A Classic came out of our frustration as a small school in Dayton and not having the opportunity to play in the State Basketball Tournament,” he said. KHSAA rules allow only 16 teams – many of which are large schools – to play in the annual statewide tournament.
 
Steidel legally challenged the KHSAA position, arguing that the state athletic association should adopt a class system for high school basketball playoffs, as is done in other sports like football, but that lawsuit was unsuccessful.

Athletic Director at Covington schools

Shortly afterward, in 1990, Steidel started the All A Classic. Nine high school basketball teams from Northern Kentucky competed in the first tournament. Three years later, schools from around the state started coming to the region to compete in the tournament, and in 1990, the All-A Classic became an annual statewide event held in central Kentucky – first being played in Lexington, then later in Richmond.
 
Today, approximately 20,000 students participate each year in the All-A Classic program, which now includes basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, golf, art, and scholarship awards. Since its inception, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $10 million and has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to needy, yet deserving, students.
 
Steidel has twice been selected the Kentucky High School Athletic Director of the Year, was chosen one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Kentucky Sports by the Lexington Herald-Leader, and was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.

Dayton Independent Schools
 
 

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