Olathe Logo 1.svg

Transitions in MNU athletic leadership

Transitions in MNU Athletic Leadership

From MidAmerica Nazarene University


OLATHE, Kan. – MidAmerica Nazarene University President Dr. David Spittal has announced the resignation of Director of Athletics Kevin Steele effective Jan. 2, 2017. Steele, who has held his current position since 2008, resigned to accept a similar position with another university. 


“Kevin has provided the university with excellent leadership and under his direction our programs have achieved regional and national recognition,” Spittal stated. “We appreciate his contributions and the level of excellence that he has established for the future of Pioneer athletics.”


Steele began his administrative career at the University of Oklahoma and prior to MNU, served as athletic director at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. He has also served in similar positions at Blinn College and Redlands College. Steele has achieved multiple honors: the 2015 Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics; the 2015-16 Heart of America Conference Athletic Director of the Year; and two Heart of America Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Awards.


“I appreciate the opportunity I was given to lead the department at MNU and develop wonderful relationships while attaining new heights and to be used by the Lord as He changed young people’s lives,” Steele said. “MNU will always be a special place for me and I am grateful to the Lord that He brought me to such an outstanding university.”


In addition, MNU head volleyball coach, Kristin Steele resigned effective Jan. 2, 2017. Serving in this role since 2010, she has achieved conference and national recognition. Steele is the most successful volleyball coach in program history with an overall record of 175-71 and a Heart of America Athletic Conference record of 61-9. She earned four Heart Coach of the Year honors, five Heart of America Conference titles, four Heart tournament titles, and five appearances at nationals. Her 2012 and 2013 teams were undefeated in conference play.


Prior to her MNU assignment, Steele was the head coach at Redlands College starting the highly successful volleyball program in 1997. A standout athlete at the University of Central Oklahoma, she was recognized as an All-Conference Athlete and First Team All-Conference honoree. In 2008 she was inducted into the UCO Broncho Hall of Fame. 


“I have enjoyed my time at MNU and the opportunity to lead many young women and to represent MNU nationally,” Steele said.


Spittal indicated that the university has benefited greatly from the leadership of Kevin and Kristin Steele.


“We are indebted to them for the contributions they have made to build the national reputation and the achievements of Pioneer athletics,” he said. “They will be missed by the MNU community.”


In response to these changes, Spittal announced that a search for an athletic director will begin immediately. He appointed Todd Garrett as interim athletic director effective with Steele’s departure in January. Garrett has been director of development for the university since 2006 and in addition to other advancement duties, is the primary fundraiser for Pioneer athletics.  A graduate of MNU, he served as director of the Pioneer Athletic Association from 2002 to 2006 and was head baseball coach from 1998-2006. Previously Garrett taught at Frontier Junior High School in Olathe and served as assistant baseball coach at Olathe South High School. Garrett will serve as interim AD until a permanent appointment is determined.


The university will also begin a national search for the head volleyball coach position immediately.