Air Force pole vault coach Scott Steffan was stunned last week in Reno, Nev., when he was named National Collegiate Pole Vault Coach of the Year.
Steffan said he was texting when the announcement came out and had no idea his name would be called.
He should have had some idea.
Since his arrival in 2008 from New Mexico, Steffan’s vaulters have earned six All-America citations, four Mountain West titles, 17 all-MW selections and occupy half of the top 10 marks in school history.
His current group of vaulters have improved their personal records anywhere from 2 inches to 2 feet under his guidance.
“We all do the same thing, teach it the same way for the most part,” Steffan said when asked what separates his methods from other coaches. “It’s the chemistry that works well. We’re in a groove, we’re clicking. They all get along really well.”
When looking at Air Force from afar while at New Mexico, he said the Falcons seemed too workman-like and didn’t seemed to have fun. He set out to change that and also brought high standards to recruiting.
“He realizes that in Olympic sports, we can go after the best athletes in the country,” head track coach Ralph Lindeman said. “We can offer them as much as the Stanfords or Oregons or Nebraskas can offer them. He’s had some success in recruiting some of the best, and he’s inspired the rest of our coaching staff.”