Steve Loney, who has 30 years of coaching experience at the pro and collegiate levels, was named interim head football coach at Drake University, June 18, 2007. Loney succeeded Rob Ash, who served as head football coach at Drake for 18 years before being named head coach at Montana State June 11.
“It is humbling and a great honor to accept this position at Drake,” said Loney. “Spending so many years in the state of Iowa as I have, I have a lot of familiarity with the program and the great tradition of Drake football dating back to Chuck Shelton (head coach 1977-85). I will fill this position with the enthusiasm as I have every job I’ve taken. I look forward to being able to continue the excellence that has marked the program over the years.
“One thing that became apparent with my conversations with Sandy (Hatfield Clubb) is that she has a great passion for this university and the athletic department. When she expressed the things she was looking for in a coach, it became a good fit for us.”
With the football team reporting to preseason camp in less than two months, Loney will begin his position at Drake immediately.
“As this opening became eminent...the most important thing to do was to build a pool of candidates that would be the same quality that we would want to hire from in January,” said Hatfield Clubb. “As we diligently worked along that path we were looking for three traits. Our new coach must be a man of character...somebody who fundamentally understands the student in student-athlete and equally important was someone who knows how to win.
“As I consulted with my friend Steve Loney about some of these things...I kind of pitched it on him because he met all of these qualities I was looking for.
“When my conversations with Steve progressed and the reality that we might not fill the pool of candidates to the extent that we wanted at this time, I was thrilled because Steve exemplifies everything that we are looking for in Drake football. We are fortunate to have this opportunity that Coach Loney would spend a season with us.”
The Marshalltown, Iowa, native has enjoyed success in developing prolific offensive attacks at both the National Football League and collegiate levels, including Iowa State and Minnesota.
Loney served as offensive line coach with the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. He came to the Cardinals after serving the previous four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as their offensive line coach (2002-04) before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2005.
During Loney’s four seasons in Minnesota, the Vikings led the NFL in total offense in 2003 and set a team record for yardage in 2004. The Vikings led the NFL in rushing in 2002. Quarterback Dante Culpepper broke virtually every Vikings’ passing record in 2004 and posted the fourth-best passer rating in NFL history.
Loney enjoyed three coaching stints at his alma mater Iowa State as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach (1995-97, 2000-01). During his third stay with the Cyclones, Loney’s offense produced back-to-back bowl seasons in 2000 and 2001. In 2001, the Cyclones averaged 423.1 yards total offense per game and 26.9 points per outing. In 2000 his offense averaged 424.4 yards per game, the third-best total in school history.
Loney was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at the University of Minnesota in 1998 and 1999. Under Loney’s guidance in 1999, Minnesota was second in the Big Ten Conference and 11th in the nation in rushing offense. The Golden Gophers averaged 415.4 offensive yards and 31.6 points per game. In addition to setting five school records in 1999, Loney’s offense produced All-Big Ten first team rusher Thomas Hamer (1,326 yards) and first-team All-American center Ben Hamilton.
From 1995-97, Loney was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Iowa State, where he produced the only tailback in NCAA history to rush for a pair of 2,000-yard seasons in 1995 and 1996, Heisman Trophy finalist Troy Davis. Troy’s brother, Darren, followed that feat with 1,005 yards rushing in nine games in 1997.
Loney was assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Connecticut in 1994 and assistant offensive line coach for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals in 1993. From 1989-92 he was the assistant head coach/offensive line coach under Earle Bruce at Colorado State. He helped lead the Rams to the school’s first bowl appearance in 48 years.
The 55-year-old Loney was the assistant head coach and tutored the offensive line at The Citadel from 1984-86. He was the head coach at Morehead State from 1981-83 after serving as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach there from 1979-80.
He was the head coach at Leavenworth (Kan.) High School in 1977-78 and the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Missouri Western from 1975-76.
A letterwinner on the offensive line for Iowa State during his collegiate career, Loney was a member of head coach Johnny Majors’ 1971 Sun Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl teams. After earning his bachelor’s degree in distributed studies from Iowa State, he launched his coaching career in 1974 at his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach under Bruce while earning his master’s degree in secondary school administration.
Steve and his wife, Terri, a former collegiate golf coach at Colorado State, have three children; Matt, a lawyer in Atlanta, Ga.; Kate; and Kylan. They also have three grandchildren.
Kylan was an All-Pac 10 Conference honoree and four-year starter on the Arizona State women’s basketball team and finished her collegiate career as the school’s second all-time leader in assists (399) and 15th on the school’s career scoring list with 1,024 points. She was named a recipient of the 2005 Pac-10 Medal of Honor.
STEVE LONEY COACHING BREAKDOWN
Year School/Team Position
1974 Iowa State Graduate Assistant
1975-76 Missouri Western Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
1977-78 Leavenworth (Kan.) High School Head Coach
1979-80 Morehead State Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
1981-83 Morehead State Head Coach
1984-86 Citadel Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line
1989-92 Colorado State Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line
1993 Arizona Cardinals Asst. Offensive Line
1994 Connecticut Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
1995-97 Iowa State Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
1998-99 Minnesota Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
2000-01 Iowa State Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
2002-04 Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line
2005 Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
2006 Arizona Cardinals Offensive Line