During his first year in Long Beach, Steele guided Chris Mathewson to Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year and Freshman All-American honors. The righty finished with a 1.94 ERA and held opposing batters to just a .184 batting average. On Mar. 1, Mathewson and Darren McCaughan combined to throw the first no-hitter in Dirtbags history.
Also under Steele's tutelage, senior Kyle Friedrichs emerged as an ace for the Dirtbags, striking out 109 batters over 100 innings with a 2.79 ERA. He was a semifinalist for the Gregg Olsen Award for college baseball's breakout player of the year and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.
Steele spent the previous seven years in various roles within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. During the 2014 season he worked as an area scout for the Pirates, but spent the previous six seasons as a pitching coach in the minor leagues. He spent the previous two years as the pitching coach at Michigan State.
In May of 2008, Steele broke into the minor league coaching ranks with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats as a midseason addition to the minor league club's staff. He stayed within the Pirates organization for the next five years as a pitching coach. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Single-A Short Season State College Spikes and then moved on to the High-A Bradenton Marauders in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he spent the season with the Single-A Short Season Jamestown Jammers.
During his time as a minor league pitching coach, Steele mentored several young pitchers who are now pitching in the MLB. Some of the major league arms he has mentored are Gerrit Cole, Brandon Cumpton, Casey Sadler, Vic Black, Phil Irwin, Duke Welker and Kyle McPherson. He played a vital role in selecting and signing the Pirates first round pick this year and has gained a reputation for spotting young talent.
Prior to his time within the Pirates organization, Steele spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons at Michigan State as the Spartans' pitching coach. His collegiate coaching experience immediately followed his professional career. He spent six years in the minors as a relief pitcher after being drafted in the 29th round by the Detroit Tigers.
He was a three-time All-Star in the minor leagues before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2002 season. He racked up 23 saves with a 1.93 ERA between Single-A and High-A affiliates in 2001. After his surgery, Steele was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the Rule 5 draft and spent three years in their farm system and retired after the 2005 season.
Steele played collegiately for two seasons at Central Michigan University after spending his freshman year at St. Clair County Community College and his sophomore season at Grand Rapids Community College. He was a Junior College All-American as a pitcher and outfielder and an All-MAC second team pitcher at CMU.
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