Dave Steckel introduced as Missouri State Head Coach
COLUMBIA - Dave Steckel has left Mizzou to become the head football coach at Missouri State University.
Steckel, who's been Mizzou's defensive coordinator for the past 5 years, was introduced as MSU's head coach Sunday afternoon.
Steckel was at Missouri's Citrus Bowl game practice Sunday and said he plans to coach the bowl game.
At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Mizzou coaches and players said they did not know if Steckel had accepted the job but that they'd be happy for him.
"If it does happen, god bless him," Missouri cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford said. "He's been one of the major reasons we've had a lot of success. If he gets that opportunity, I'm so happy for him and his family that he can move on and be successful."
"That isn't my place to be asking him that," Missouri captain Markus Golden said. "The only thing I can say about Coach Stec is I'm glad I got to play with him and learn from him. He's a great guy. But I don't know. I couldn't tell you. I don't know nothing about it at all."
Now Mizzou needs to find a new defensive coordinator.
"I don't think there's a guy on our staff that wouldn't want that position but Coach Pinkel makes that decision and I just roll with it," Coach Ford said.
Mizzou's defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski declined to speak to the media but the Tigers players say they believe he would be a good replacement.
"I think he has a great understanding of our defense," Missouri junior defensive end Shane Ray said. "He's respected by all the players and he has great production in the d-line room so I don't think Coach Kul would be a dropoff. I think he would handle business well."
If Mizzou does not promote from within, current Memphis defensive coordinator Barry Odom is a potential candidate. Odom coached and played with the Tigers.
Steckel is coming off a very successful season with the Tigers. He was 1 of 5 finalists for the Broyles Award, an honor given to the nation's best assistant coach. His defense ranked 1st in the SEC in yards allowed during conference play.