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Les Steckel (born July 1, 1946) was a coach of the Minnesota Vikings for one brief season in 1984. He has also worked as an assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Steckel was born in Whitehall, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Kansasmarker, where he was a Golden Gloves boxing champion and graduated in 1968 with a triple degree in social work, human relations and political science. He volunteered on the Robert F. Kennedy presidential campaign that year.

He then enlisted in the Marines and served in Vietnammarker as an infantry officer. He recently retired from USMC Reserves after thirty years of service with the rank of Colonel.

After his return from Vietnam in 1970, Steckel was stationed in Quantico, Va., where he played football for the Quantico Marine football team until 1971. He joined the USMC Reserves in 1972. He then worked as an assistant football coach at the University of Coloradomarker from 1973 to 1976. He was an assistant at Navymarker in 1977, then an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers in 1978.

Steckel joined the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff as the receivers coach in 1979 and remained an assistant coach through the 1983 season. He was promoted to head coach of the Vikings for the 1984 season after longtime coach Bud Grant retired. As a coach with a military background, Steckel emphasized discipline. He was fired after one season, in which the team posted a 3-13 record. He was succeeded by Grant, who briefly came out of retirement to fill the post.

He later worked as an assistant coach or coordinator with the New England Patriots from 1985 to 1988, then with Brown Universitymarker in 1989, followed by another two years at the University of Colorado from 1991 to 1992, then two years with the Denver Broncos from 1993 to 1994, followed by five years with the Houston Oilers and the Tennessee Titans, then a year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000) where he served as offensive coodinator and posted a Buccaneers team record 388 points in a season, and a year with the Buffalo Bills (2003). He became President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on March 1, 2005 after taking time off to coach his son's high school team, which won the Tennessee state championship during his one year coaching at the high school. He is married to the former Chris Picket and they have three children - Lesley, a recent graduate of Baylor University, Luke, who currently plays football at Princeton University, and Christian, also a Baylor graduate,is head anchor for ABC Sports in Jackson, Mississippi, and works college basketball games for ESPNU.

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