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Coach Bell here for long haul

March 2, 2012

With a career record of 94 wins and only 32 losses, there is no doubt that head football coach Steve Bell is a legend for Fighting Scots football. Bell has coached 12 seasons at Monmouth College and has been coaching for 20 years total. In his career here, he has led the Scots to four conference championships since 2005 and received the coach of the year award five times.

Bell’s life has revolved around sports since he was in high school. He grew up in Virginia, Minn. and was a four-sport athlete playing football, basketball, baseball and tennis at Virginia High School. Throughout his younger athletic career, he found his inspiration to become a coach. Bell says that in high school he was not nearly coached well enough, so he wanted to be the coach that he never had. He planned to coach high school football when he graduated, so he attended Mesabi Junior college. After two years, he transferred to Bemidji State University in Minnesota where he double majored in special education and physical education while still playing football.

Set back by injuries, Bell still managed to pave the way for the rest of his life. He continued at Bemidji State by helping coach the football team for three years. He received a job offer to be the offensive coordinator at McMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. Not only did he become a coach of a successful football program, he also met his wife of 15 years, Robin, who was the head volleyball coach. In their 15 years they have had three children: Carter 11, Chloe 7 and Claire 5.

After five years with McMurray College, Bell received a call about a head-coaching job at Monmouth College. Then-President Richard Giese convinced Bell to accept the offer, because he had a very strong vision of what he wanted the college to be. Bell decided to take the job and helped shape the college. When he accepted the job, he decided to call two coaches he had worked with to help him form the new Fighting Scots. First, he called Chad Braun, who he had coached with at McMurray and then called Dave Ragone, who he coached with at Bemidji, and they have been together since.

Coach Bell holds a certain standard for his team. He lives by the sayings “embrace change” and “different team, same expectations.” He is not the kind of coach who yells at his players to motivate them; instead, he motivates by his expectation level. He expects them to work hard and be competitive, and in return, his team works to fulfill his expectations. With this, he and his players know that they can reach their goals.

When Bell is not watching film or coaching he is still involved in sports. His favorite thing to do is watch his son Carter play football. His two daughters are just now getting involved in sports, and he loves watching that just as well.

Coach Bell loves working here at Monmouth College. When asked if he would take a job at a large Division I school, he replied “not at all.” He loves the atmosphere and would not be able to uproot his family.

Zach Johnson
Contributing Writer

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