#TeamworksFamily Feature: James Madison's Dale Steele

Dale SteeleDirector of Football Administration/Recruiting CoordinatorJames Madison UniversityGet to know Dale:If you could have dinner with anyone living or not, who would it be?Jesus Christ.What is your go-to restaurant or meal?I'm a hamburger and barbecue kind of guy.What is something that is on your bucket list?There are some golf courses in Scotland and Ireland that I want to play.What was your childhood dream job?Football Coach.What is something difficult that you overcame in your life, that you appreciate now?I was not an extremely talented player. In college I was a walk-on. I had to overcome the desire to give up because I wasn’t the kind of player I wanted to be. I always wanted to be a football coach, so I started to focus more on learning everything I could about the game from my coaches. I learned how they did things off the field as well by watching how they handled people. What I learned during that time has been invaluable to my career as a coach.What is unique about the James Madison football program that contributed to your success this season?The culture in our program is really what separates us. It starts with the people involved in the program, particularly the players, who are at the forefront of it. Everyone involved in this program—the coaches, the administration, the people in this community that support us and the academic and facilities staff—all want to be the best they can be every day. From the person who opens the stadium and the person who cuts the practice field to the people who take care of our building and offices, everyone wants to be the best. The level of commitment from everyone here is one of the most unique aspects of any program that I’ve experienced in my career. We all expect the best from each other. When that’s the case, it carries throughout the entire organization.What was the mindset of your program throughout this season?One of the most common themes expressed by our head coach this year was, 'Be who we are.' We don’t control any other team; we control who we are and what we do on a daily basis. We only discussed what we were capable of doing and how we could improve. We focused on our own individual effort and commitment.What advice could you give on how to build a championship program?Any program that succeeds at a high level is a family. There are a lot of things that go into families, including trust, honesty, hard work and accountability. One of the most important parts of our success at James Madison is that as a group of coaches, we accept the players for who they are and vice versa. With a common goal, everyone understands that even though we are all different, we can still work together to get to where we belong.

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