Tackling connections

Wright State University alumnus hopes his love for teaching and coaching will impact students' lives

Scott Steiner, a coach and administrator in Mad River Local Schools in Riverside, is the district’s new athletic director. (Photos Kris Sproles)

Wright State University alumnus Scott Steiner has been involved with sports his entire life. He played football and baseball and wrestled while growing up in Beavercreek. He continued playing these sports through high school and eventually played football at Thomas Moore University.

“All I really wanted to do was teach and coach,” he said.

Steiner will take on a new role as athletic director of Mad River Local Schools in Riverside on Aug. 1, a perfect fit for the teacher, coach and administrator.

As athletic director, Steiner will be responsible for 450 student-athletes, 40 high school and middle school coaches, 11 different sports and over 20 activities, such as esports, band and flag teams.

“Sports are an integral part of a young person’s life,” said Steiner. “They teach you about what you’re supposed to do and how to do it.”

Steiner said his role as an administrator gives him a unique perspective that extends beyond the athletic department to the whole student-athlete.

“I’m excited to mix athletics and academics and create an overall program for our students,” he said.

This July, Steiner gave his new job a trial run when Stebbins High School hosted more than 20 area high schools for the Miami Valley Coaches Association Social Justice Football 7 v 7 competition. The high schools participated in a touch football competition and engaged in diversity seminars to inspire unity.

After graduating from Thomas Moore University with a degree in history, Steiner dabbled in business for several years and even owned a Dairy Queen in Kentucky. Working long hours at the soft-serve ice cream shop eventually steered him to Wright State to pursue his passion for teaching and coaching.

“It was time to do what I truly loved and that’s work with kids and teach,” he said.

Steiner moved back to the Miami Valley and for 18 months worked 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at a print shop in Fairborn while taking classes at Wright State during the day.

“The classes that I took were demanding and they were really critical to my development as a student,” said Steiner. “It exposed me to things I haven’t been exposed to before like behavioral sciences.”

After earning his master’s degree in special education from Wright State in 2005, Steiner began teaching English at Middletown City Schools and coaching football and wrestling at nearby Fenwick High School.

“I didn’t want to be a guy that was just a coach so I didn’t want to coach where I taught,” said Steiner.

Scott Steiner watched as area high school football teams participated in the Miami Valley Coaches Association Social Justice Football 7 v 7 competition at Stebbins High School.

A football coach at Fenwick told him about a job at Stebbins High School in Riverside, so he applied and got the job. He coached football and helped the middle school with its football program. For the past five years, he has also served as the dean of students at Stebbins.

In 2012 Steiner received his second master’s degree, in curriculum instruction and professional development, and his principal license from Wright State.

“Wright State has made me an overall better lifelong learner,” he said.

Steiner said he enjoys being the “calm in the storm” for students who are going through tough times or need words of encouragement.

“That’s the part that I really relish about doing this job,” he said.

Whether people like sports, Steiner said, they are extremely important activities. Band, cheerleading and athletic competitions help students receive interest from colleges and help student-athletes build confidence.

“It’s really important for young people to feel good and represent something,” Steiner said.

He said he is excited about his new position and cannot wait to showcase the great facilities at Mad River Local Schools and continue to make an impact on the district’s student-athletes.

“As an administrator, you don’t get as much one-on-one time as you do as a classroom teacher,” he said. “When those administrators that make the time to do that and build those connections really make an impact, and that’s what myself and our team try to do.”

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