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Steeples leaves De Smet for assistant coaching job with NFL's Vikings

Steeples leaves De Smet for assistant coaching job with NFL's Vikings

De Smet vs. Joplin football

De Smet coach Robert Steeples reacts to recovering a fumble during the Class 6 State championship football game against Joplin on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. Randy Kemp | Special to

After five years as De Smet’s football coach, Robert Steeples resigned to accept an assistant coaching position with the Minnesota Vikings in the National Football League. The school announced the change Tuesday. 

Steeples, a 2008 De Smet graduate, played professionally for the Vikings in 2013. They were one of four teams Steeples played for during his three-year professional career as a defensive back. He played collegiately at Missouri and Memphis. 

When Steeples took over De Smet prior to the 2015 season, it was a program in a severe tailspin. The Spartans were 2-18 overall and 0-8 in the rugged Metro Catholic Conference the two years prior to his arrival.

Steeples, 31, was integral as the Spartans transitioned from cellar dweller to one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. De Smet won the Class 6 state championship in 2019, the second state title in program history. That same season the Spartans ended CBC’s 10-year reign as MCC champion and its 37-game conference winning streak.

Last season, after playing just two regular-season games due to restrictions put in place by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Spartans went 6-1 and lost in the Class 6 to Raymore-Peculiar.

In Steeples’ five seasons, De Smet went 32-21. Over his final three seasons the Spartans went 29-4. They had a 20-game win streak end by Ray-Pec in this season's state final.

“I am blessed and humbled to have been the leader of such great young men and to have had the opportunity to work alongside the best coaches and faculty here at De Smet Jesuit,” Steeples said in a press release. “I will carry this team with me into the NFL, and I will smile watching the Spartans continue to earn success together at De Smet Jesuit.”

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