Robert Steele | College Name | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Robert Steele


Robert Steele
Distinguished Alumni Award

Bob Steele’s career spans 58 years as a swim coach, whose experience and accolades have made him a giant in the sport. A conference- and national amateur championship-winning swim captain at SIU from 1958 to 1961, Steele began his coaching career with a Carbondale-based youth group. He spent more than a decade as the head swim coach for SIU, with a 230-66 lifetime record. During his tenure at SIU, he also coached the National Junior Swim Team and national teams in Holland and France. 

In total, Steele would go on to coach 25 high school and 145 NCAA All-Americans, with 21 world-ranked swimmers in 41 events. He has trained swimmers all over the world for the Olympics, world championships, and other international competitions. His expertise in coaching the sport continues to be tapped for clinics and camps in 21 countries. This year, Steele will be an American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee. 

Steele is a two-degree graduate of SIU, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Education and Human Services in 1962 and 1963, respectively.