The UC Davis football program announced Thursday that Ben Steele will join new head coach Ron Gould’s staff, a nine-man group that features four returners and five new faces.
While Steele — who will coach tight ends and be the Aggies’ recruiting coordinator — was the first one made official, most of the other names can be found on UCD’s staff directory.
Gould, who was hired in December after 16 seasons at Cal, will retain Kevin Daft, Jeff Kopp, Will Kofe and Damaro Wheeler from last year’s staff, though their responsibilities may be a little different. Daft reportedly will be the Aggies’ offensive coordinator.
There are two spots still waiting to be confirmed, but in addition to Steele, coaches Bryan Wright and Matt Wiegand — who also comes over from the Golden Bears — will join the UCD staff this season. Wright, previously a graduate assistant at Michigan, is set to work with the Aggie running backs.
More information on the other new coaches should be available in the coming days. Meanwhile, here’s a closer look at Steele:
An administrative assistant for Cal’s offensive staff during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the 34-year-old Steele joined the Bears program after two years with the University of Colorado and one at his alma mater Mesa State, now known as Colorado Mesa.
Besides bringing key NCAA Division I coaching experience, Steele brings extensive playing experience as a tight end as well. He spent the 2001-07 seasons in the NFL as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packer and Houston Texans.
He joined the NFL after a standout career at Mesa State in 1999-2000 where he was an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree. Steele, who also played in the Cactus Bowl Division-II All-Star Game in 2001, spent his first two college seasons at Fort Lewis College before transferring to Mesa State.
He returned to Mesa State as an offensive assistant coach in 2008 following his professional playing career. Steele moved on to Colorado as operations and recruiting assistant in 2009 before serving as a graduate assistant in 2010.
Steele graduated from Mesa State in 2001 with his bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcasting. He put his education to use as a radio and television broadcaster in the Grand Junction, Colo., area, including as a weekend sports anchor in 2002 and 2003.
Steele furthered his education by receiving master’s credit in 2006 while attending the NFL’s Executive Business Program at the Harvard Business School.
He and his wife, Rachel, have been married for four years and have a baby daughter, Cora.