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Jack Steptoe

#238 Jack Steptoe
(Head Football Coach)

I grew up in South Central Los Angeles. During high school I participated in track and played basketball and football. In the mid-70s I attended Los Angeles Valley College (a community college). In 1974 I played wide receiver for them. I had no visions of grandeur about being a star college player or playing in the NFL. I wanted an education and just hoped that my hard work on the field and my diligence in the classroom would eventually lead to a scholarship.

When we defeated Fresno City College I was awarded the game’s Most Valuable Player and was also named to the All Conference Team after receiving 38 passes and scoring nine touchdowns that year. That season unlocked a multitude of opportunities for me.

After the 1975 season, I accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Utah. I was Rookie of the Year and made All Conference in 1976 and 1977 as a receiver and punt returner.

My career in the NFL as a receiver began in 1978 when I was drafted by the Chicago Bears. I also played for the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles, and lastly with the San Diego Chargers in 1980. In addition, I also played for the Canadian League and the USFL expansion team before retiring in 1984.

My parents moved here to the Desert in 1983. In 1984 I began my coaching career as assistant football coach at College of the Desert when John Marmon was the head coach. I have coached in the desert for more than 25 years for both COD and Palm Desert High School, playing a role on the Palm Desert High 2005 team that finished

12-2.

In addition, I earned an AA degree in Management and Supervision at College of the Desert in 2002.

I returned to COD in 2006 as the Assistant Football Coach. In 2014 I became COD’s Head Football Coach. Just recently I had the honor of being inducted into the California Community Colleges Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

I work to develop my players both athletically and academically, so as to prepare these young men to transfer on to four-year colleges. I tell them that it is what they have between their two ears; that knowledge is the most important thing. I also try to build their character and integrity and that it is important how you represent yourself and to try to be as diplomatic as possible. I want these kids to know that they can have dreams if they set goals and work hard to achieve them. I hope they can see the value of playing junior college football and how it can unlock future opportunities for them, just as it did for me.