President and CEO
Veteran NFL coach Les Steckel became the seventh president and CEO of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on March 1, 2005. Steckel’s extensive involvement with FCA dates back to 1972 when, as a college football coach, he attended his first FCA conference. In the 37 years since then, Steckel has served as Huddle Leader, platform speaker, camp dean, football clinician at various FCA Camps across the nation and served regularly as a guest speaker for FCA events. Steckel and his wife, Chris, also speak at FCA marriage enrichment weekends, and prior to his selection as FCA President and CEO, both he and Chris served on the FCA National Board of Trustees.
Steckel’s football coaching career spans over 32 years. After spending five years as a college coach at the University of Colorado and the U.S. Naval Academy, Steckel began his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1978. His 23 years of coaching experience in the NFL includes serving as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, whom he helped guide to the 2000 Super Bowl. He also was an offensive coach for the New England Patriots during their 1985 Super Bowl season.
Additionally, he held the position of offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was a position coach with the Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills.
A Golden Gloves boxing champion at the University of Kansas, Steckel graduated from Kansas in 1968 with a triple-major bachelor’s degree in political science, social work and human relations. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and, after completing Officer Candidate School in early 1969, served in Vietnam as an infantry officer. In 1972, Steckel joined the Marine Corps Reserves and served in various staff positions throughout the United States while he coached football for college and NFL teams until retiring in 1999 as a Colonel. Among his numerous military awards, Steckel received the Navy Commendation Medal.
In August 2006, Steckel’s autobiography, One Yard Short: Turning Your Defeats into Victories, was published. The title is derived from the final play of the 2000 Super Bowl between the St. Louis Rams and Steckel’s Titans, a play that has been called the most exciting play in the history of the Super Bowl. Steckel’s book chronicles his life journey, which ultimately led him to Kansas City to head FCA.
Les and Chris have three children, Christian (married to Christi), Lesley (married to Shaun), Luke and two grandchildren: Callan and Chloe