Les Steckel took over as FCA’s seventh president and CEO on March 1, 2005, and since then the ministry has experienced unprecedented growth, impacting more coaches and athletes for Christ than ever before in its 60-plus year history.
During Steckel’s tenure, FCA staff nearly doubled, FCA Huddles nearly tripled, and the total number of FCA camps and camp attendance grew by about five times. FCA is now also serving in 60 countries throughout the world.
However, the ministry certainly wouldn’t be what it is today without its committed donors, board members and volunteers—roles that all could’ve been used to describe Steckel long before his time as president. His first involvement with FCA actually dates back to 1972, when as a football coach he attended his first FCA conference in Estes Park, Colorado. In the 40-some years since then, Steckel served as Huddle leader, speaker, camp dean and football clinician at various FCA Camps and events. He and his wife, Chris, also spoke at FCA Presidents Weekends, “Real Time” FCA staff gatherings and marriage enrichment weekends. Before becoming president in 2005, he and Chris both served on FCA’s National Board of Trustees.
A native of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, Steckel graduated from the University of Kansas in 1968 and served in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer. In 1972, he joined the Marine Corps Reserves and worked in various staff positions throughout the United States while coaching football. He retired in 1999 as a colonel.
Steckel’s football coaching career spanned more than 30 years and included numerous stops in both the collegiate and professional ranks. In August 2006, Steckel’s autobiography, One Yard Short: Turning Your Defeats into Victories, was published. The book chronicles his life journey, which ultimately led him to Kansas City, Missouri, to lead FCA.
Please join all of FCA in honoring and celebrating “Coach Les” and the victory through Christ that was his time as president and CEO. The Steckels won’t be far from the ministry, and they’ll remain eager to see the current and future generations continue to be impacted by FCA in the years to come.
Thank You, Coach!
“I watched God use Coach and Chris Steckel in a powerful way to shape and re-direct the ministry of FCA. They have traveled this country in support of our local field staff, and our ministry will forever be different because of their sacrifice and service.”
— Donnie Dee, Director of the Tom Landry Associates, Western Region FCA
“Les Steckel is an incredible leader, and it was a privilege and honor to serve Christ through FCA with him. Les modeled servant leadership and communicated a clear vision for FCA during his tenure as President and CEO. As Les and Chris begin a new chapter in the journey God prepared for them, they can do so with confidence that He will say, ‘… Well done, good and faithful servant.’ (Matthew 25:23, KJV)”
— Julie Nimmons, FCA National Board of Trustees
“The foundation from which FCA builds upon from here has been firmly laid by Les and Chris Steckel. The man whom we will always refer to as “Coach” guided this ministry through prayer, counsel, and the leading of the Spirit to places once thought unimaginable. He and Chris have worked diligently to advance the ministry of FCA, all the while modeling our values of integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.”
— Shane Williamson, FCA Executive Director of Field Ministry