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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    Q's with Bob Sansevere From the gridiron to God: Les Steckel

    Posted on Thu, Aug. 10, 2006

    [size=18px]QUESTIONS WITH BOB SANSEVERE From the gridiron to God[/size]

    Ex-Vikings coach Les Steckel preaching to a different flock now
    Les Steckel was the Vikings' coach for one 3-13 season in 1984 and never became a head coach again. In a 23-year NFL career, he spent time as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans. Now national president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Steckel has written a book titled "One Yard Short: Turning Your Defeats Into Victories."

    In the book, available from, Steckel writes: "I've heard it said that we learn the greatest lessons through adversity. If that's true, I ought to be a genius by now. I don't know any football coach who has been fired as many times as I have."

    BS If you could turn back the clock to 1984, what would you do differently as coach of the Vikings?

    LS I wouldn't have accepted the job. As I look back on it, there are some people who are rather mature at age 37. I'm not sure I was. I didn't realize the scope and dimension of being a head coach. I was very sensitive to the fact that some great people, such as Jerry Burns and others, were not offered the job. I was sensitive to it but not very realistic about it. I made mistakes along the way. Not a few, many.

    BS Does it bother you to this day that you were given only one year as head coach?

    LS It really doesn't. My wife and I say over and over how blessed we felt. People have strengths and weaknesses. I really believe my abilities lie in being an offensive coordinator. I loved the pressures of putting together the strategies and game plans for the week, and the game-day excitement of calling the plays. All the other stuff — contracts, off-the-field issues — didn't fire me up.

    BS You had some success as an assistant. Why do you think you never got another chance as a head coach? Do you believe you were tainted by your one season in Minnesota?

    LS If you go back to the record books, you'll see coaches fired in the 1970s and '80s never reappeared. In the '90s and 2000s, coaches that were fired are back again. Bill Belichick got fired in Cleveland, and look what he's done in New England. I don't have any bitterness or animosity. I had my chance. Could I go be a head coach now at age 60? I believe I can, but that's not my burning passion now. Working with kids across the country is what I want to do.

    BS In the book, you mention you came on rather strong as the Vikings' coach and upset some players and colleagues. Did you really punch yourself in the mouth to prove a point?

    LS What happened was one time I came into the locker room, and we were playing absolutely horrible. I started grabbing people. I smacked my fist against my hand and all that kind of stuff, and I think I accidentally hit myself up by my cheekbone. I was trying my best to tell them there's one common denominator from the first day football was played, and it will be there until the last day, and that's physical toughness.

    BS Do you miss coaching?

    LS There are parts of it I definitely miss. The biggest thrill I ever got in life was helping somebody get better. I was offered a job in January to go back to the league. I want to lead this ministry now.

    BS Any advice for young, gung-ho coaches?

    LS Read my book. Any young gung-ho individual who's driven to reach the top needs to recognize there's more than reaching the top. I was in the left lane going 100 miles per hour. I'm glad the good Lord slammed the brakes on me.

    BS Would you consider coaching again?

    LS People tell me I don't look 60. It's those third-down calls that created those gray hairs. Some people say to me if I came back into coaching five, six, seven years from now, the game will have passed me by. I don't think that will happen. I'll always be open to that opportunity. Right now, I'm excited with what I'm doing now. Since March of 2005, I've been on the road 313 days. It's not 312. Not 314. It's 313. We're big on boosting the morale of the troops, seeing great things happen across the country.

    Bob Sansevere can be reached at [email protected]

    QUESTIONS WITH BOB SANSEVERE From the gridiron to God

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Q's with Bob Sansevere From the gridiron to God: Les Steckel

    Nice to see what Steckel is up to, he may have found his calling...I don't think coaching was it.

  3. #3
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
    BadlandsVikings is offline Jersey Retired
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    Apr 2006

    Re: Q's with Bob Sansevere From the gridiron to God: Les Steckel

    Nice to see someone admit that they sucked.

  4. #4
    jdvike's Avatar
    jdvike is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Q's with Bob Sansevere From the gridiron to God: Les Steckel

    I think if I had been playing for Steckel and he punched himself in the face....I would've peed my pants from laughing so hard. :lol:

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