Football Coach Profiles
As of July 2014, Jack E. Steptoe was named Interim Head Football Coach. Steptoe is a veteran of the NFL as a pro receiver and played with teams like: San Francisco Forty Niners, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers, the Canadian league and the USFL before retiring in 1984.
Coach Steptoe has been coaching in the desert for more than 17 years. He coached with College of The Desert in 1984-1987, winning the Foothill Conference and the Sothern California Bowl in 1986. From there he went to Palm Desert High School and coached there from 1994-1997, winning their first DVL championship in 1997. He rejoined College of the Desert in 2003, and in 2005 returned to Palm Desert High School and helped them to another DVL championship and a 10-0 season; the best record in school history, finishing with an over all record of 12-1.
Coach Steptoe works to develop players athletically and academically, preparing these young men to transfer on to four-year colleges. His coaching skills have allowed him the joy of coaching many All-Conference receiving and All-State recipients over the years.
Now back at College of the Desert, Coach Steptoe participated in the roadrunners' 2007 best season ever, winning the foothill conference with a record of 9-1 and best record in school history. This qualified them for a bowl bid against #1 ranked Bakersfield in the Golden Empire Bowl. Coach Steptoe is single and has three children: Diondre, Eric, and daughter Alyssia. He is extremely happy to be a part of an outstanding staff and to be a Roadrunner once again.
Ben KnappAsst. Head coach, Offensive Coordinator
Coach Ben Knapp has been working at College of the Desert for the past seven years. During that time he has coached several different positions on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. In 2009, Coach Knapp became the Special Teams Coordinator where he helped lead them to being the top Special Teams unit in the state of California. As Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator in 2010, he helped develop COD’s Defense to being one of the fiercest pressure Defenses’ in the Conference. Most recently, in 2014, Coach Knapp has taken up a new challenge within the football program and is now the Offensive Coordinator.
Coach Knapp feels his biggest contribution to the football program at College of the Desert has been his role as the Recruiting Coordinator for the last 5 seasons. Coach Knapp works diligently with all major NCAA Division I schools and all colleges and universities throughout the country. He has helped numerous athletes over the years get top scholarships so they can continue playing a sport they love while at the same time pursue their education.
“I believe it’s about the Student Athlete. Our Job is to mentor and teach the players throughout their College of the Desert experience. I always tell every football player that arrives at the College to ’Take care of your business on and off the field and we will get you the exposure you deserve’. Being a good citizen in our community and a dedicated student is your top priority. Football does not matter unless those two items come first.”
Curt Hough was born and raised in Southern California. He attended La Mirada High School where he played football and ran track for four years. Hough attended Utah State University, where he received a five year full ride football scholarship. Hough was named an All Rocky Mountain Center/Guard Football Performer and was the Co-Captain of the football team while playing at Utah State University. Hough went on to play in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles as an offensive center.
Hough then directed his passion for football into coaching for the high school and collegiate levels.
He was the Assistant Offensive Line Coach at Utah State University. He also coached at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah as an assistant where he helped guide the team to a State Championship. Coach Hough then accepted a position as the Offensive Line Coach at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He helped bring the team to a Division 4A State Runners-Up Championship four times.
Coach Hough then relocated to Palm Desert, California where he coached the Offensive Line at Palm Desert High School. The PDHS football team won a Desert Valley League (DVL) championship under Coach Hough’s tenure. Coach Hough is a graduate of Utah State University wit a BS in Physical Education and has his MA in Educational Administration from CA State San Bernardino. Hough is currently the Running Backs Coach at College of the Desert.
Marcus BlackDefensive Coordinator
Marcus Black is no stranger to College of the Desert. Marcus played at COD before receiving a football scholarship to Utah State University. After attending Utah State, Marcus spent some time in the NFL and the USFL. Marcus coached Defensive Line at COD in 1987-1989. We are glad to welcome him back this year, he brings a wealth of experience with him. Marcus is married and has three children.
Corners and Safeties
Bill began at College of the Desert as a volunteer in the Fall of 2000 and has been acting as our Strength Coach since 2001. He has been involved in weight training for over 40 years, he competed in Olympic lifting, Powerlifting and was a State and National champion in the Masters Division besides also officiating in ADFPA, AAU, and USAPL events for many years. Bill also works with individual students, men and women, on enhancing their general physical fitness and specific strength goals.
Todd Conger’s experience includes twelve years in the Athletic Training profession including five years at Norco High School and the SPORT Clinic in Riverside. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at California State University – Fullerton and his Master of Science in Athletic Training at California Baptist University. Todd likes to spend time hiking and traveling with his wife and is active in California Athletic Trainers’ Association with governmental affairs.
Arkansas State University (1960) BSE
3 year letterman, football
1960 Academic All American
1/LT U.S. Army (1960-1963) Infantry, Airborne and Ranger Qualified
Athletic Director & Dept Chairman, Rancho Alamitos High School (1965-1972)
Garden Grove Unified School District, District Athletic Director Supervisor (1972-1974)
K-12 Life Teaching General Teaching Credential, Cal
K-12 Life Administrative Credential, CA
M.A. Degree, Athletic Administration, Cal State, L.A.
Administrator/Commandant St. Catherine's Military Academy, Anaheim, CA (1974)2003)
Desert Sands Unified School District, Substitute Teacher (2003-present)
College of the Desert, Athletic Department, Equipment Manager, Football, 2006 to Present
Married to Gretchen Zaborowski (49 years); 4 children; 10 grandchildren
11 year resident of Palm Desert Greens in Palm Desert.