Legendary North Rowan Coach Robert Steele Passes Away

Coach Steele was a 4-time national high school track and field coach of the year, he led North Rowan to 15 state titles (11 boys, 4 girls) and was one of the 100 Coaches to Remember during the NCHSAA's centennial ceremonies in 2013.

He also coached Track & Field News' 1998 Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Greg Yeldell, who set the national high school record in the triple jump in 1998 and is still No. 2 all-time.

Steele is a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame, Livingstone College Sports Hall of Fame and the Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame.  Additionally, Coach Steele was a part of the inaugural North Carolina Track & Field Hall of Fame Class in 2019.

He graduated from East Rowan High School and Livingstone College, and then began his track and field coaching career at Webb High School in Oxford (1977-86), where his teams won 6 conference titles before he came to North Rowan.

He coached 5 (five) 50-foot boys' triple jumpers (all ranked in the top 25 of the N.C. all-time list), including 3 in one year (the only coach in national high school history to do that).  He has 6 boy triple jumpers in the top 50 All-Time Outdoor list in North Carolina history

NC All-Time RankAthleteMarkYear

Greg Yeldell


Brian Ellis


Andre Tillman


Emmanuel Barnes-Smith


Terry Wood


Reggie Barnes-Smith