Todd Stepsis, the architect of the Drake football team’s nationally ranked defense, was named the head coach of the Drake University football team, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.
Stepsis is the 27th head coach in Drake history and takes the reins of the program after five seasons as its defensive coordinator.
As the defensive coordinator, Stepsis built the Drake defense into one of the nation’s top units and coached a total of 42 all-conference selections including the program’s all-time leading tackler and the most recent Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year, Nathan Clayberg.
This past season, he led a defense that was one of the best in the nation as the Bulldogs ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense (19.1 ppg), ninth in total defense (296.0 ypg), sixth in rushing defense (96.8 ypg), 10th in interceptions (17 INT), 10th in tackles for loss (8.1 TFL/g) and 15th in defensive touchdowns (3).
A pair of his defensive standouts, Nathan Clayberg and Will Warner, earned a total of four All-America honors with Warner leading the nation in interception return yardage (223 yards) and finishing second in the nation with a school-record eight interceptions.
In 2017, Stepsis' defensive unit led the PFL in total defense (335.3 ypg.), pass defense (199.7 ypg.) and first downs (18.0) and finished second in sacks with 27. The Bulldogs held their opponents under 330 yards of total offense seven times and limited teams to 200 yards passing or less six times.
Stepsis was named to Fox’s staff at Drake before the 2014 season following six seasons in the same role at Division II power Saginaw Valley State. There, he helped coach the Cardinals to a 44-23 record, three-consecutive GLIAC North Division titles and three NCAA playoff berths.
At Saginaw Valley, he coached 37 defensive all-conference performers, including the conference’s all-time leading tackler and three standouts that went on to NFL and CFL careers.
Before joining the SVSU staff, he was an assistant at Capital University for eight seasons during which the program amassed a 57-20 record and earned three straight NCAA Division III playoff berths from 2005-07. The team advanced to the quarterfinals in 2005 and 2006. He began his coaching career at Otterbein where he coached the top-ranked pass defense in the conference and helped the program to its first winning season in nearly two decades.
Stepsis, a native of Shelby, Ohio, graduated with magna cum laude honors from Ashland University, where he was a four-year member of the football team, in 1999 with a degree in special education. He also received a master’s degree from Ashland in sport education. He and his wife, Angie, have two daughters, Addison and Avery. He is also father to a son, Zander, and daughter, Zoe.