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Stan Steidel, Longtime Holmes and Dayton Athletic Director, Dies

Stan Steidel, the longtime athletic director at Holmes High School in Covington and at Dayton High School, has died.

Steidel, 78, reportedly suffered a medical emergency while driving on Monday and did not survive.

The River City News is working to confirm details.

According to a Facebook post by his daughter, Melanie Steidel Pelle, Steidel was set to run as a write-in candidate for the Campbell County board of education in Tuesday's election.

Steidel graduated from Dayton in 1959 where he excelled in basketball, baseball, and football. 

He went on to play basketball at Brewton Parker Junior College in Georgia where he was awarded an athletic scholarship. Two years later, he transferred to Villa Madonna College in Covington, now Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, to continue his basketball playing career.
 
“The coaches that I had in high school and college were amazing people who helped shape me into the person I am today,” Steidel said in a 2017 profile produced by Dayton Independent Schools ahead of the school's renaming of the high school's basketball court in his honor. “I knew early on that I wanted to follow in their footsteps and serve as coach and teacher to young men and women when I graduated from college.”

Steidel spent two years in the U.S. Army and then graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor's degree in education in 1966, and then a master's degree in education from Xavier University.

He was hired at Dayton as a teacher and coach upon his graduation from UC. There, he coached the three sports that he played as a student, baseball, football, and basketball. He spent 34 years as a coach there and 25 as athletic director.

For the past twenty years, he has been athletic director at Holmes. 

Steidel's renown spread beyond Northern Kentucky to all corners of the Commonwealth. He was instrumental in the creation of the All A Classic, a statewide basketball tournament for smaller schools.

“Starting the All A Classic came out of our frustration as a small school in Dayton and not having the opportunity to play in the State Basketball Tournament,” he said in 2017.

The famed Sweet 16 tournament for boys teams is held annually at Rupp Arena in Lexington, and typically, larger schools dominate.
 
According to the Dayton Schools profile in 2017, Steidel legally challenged the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA)'s position that allowed only sixteen teams to participate, arguing that the state athletic association should adopt a class system for high school basketball playoffs, as is done in other sports like football, but that lawsuit was unsuccessful.

Shortly afterward, in 1990, Steidel started the All A Classic. Nine high school basketball teams from Northern Kentucky competed in the first tournament. Three years later, schools from around the state started coming to the region to compete in the tournament, and in 1990, the All-A Classic became an annual statewide event held in central Kentucky – first being played in Lexington, then later in Richmond.

He also led the charge to bring the Kentucky Girls Basketball Sweet Sixteen to Northern Kentucky University's Bank of Kentucky Center, which is now BB&T Arena. He was a member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's Board of Control when the decision was made in 2014.

“The university and the Bank of Kentucky Center were excited to bring the event to Northern Kentucky,” Steidel told the Courier-Journal following the Sweet 16 decision in 2014. “They’re going to get a chance to show off what they can do and show off their facility and show off an area of the state that a lot of people around the state haven’t been to.”

Steidel was twice selected as the Kentucky High School Athletic Director of the Year, was chosen one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Kentucky Sports by the Lexington Herald-Leader, and was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.

"He was a great leader, a great athletic director," said Covington Independent Public Schools Superintendent Alvin Garrison, in a statement Monday night. "We're sorry for his family, our family, and most of all, our student-athletes. He will be missed dearly."

This story will be updated when more information is confirmed.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher