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Jerry Steele was an American basketball player and coach.
Steele was a native of Elkin, North Carolina. He played basketball at Wake Forest University from 1958 to 1961 and in two of those years he was a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference All Academic team.
Steele was the basketball coach at Guilford College from 1964 to 1970.
In November 1970, after the Cougars started the season with a record of 17 wins and 25 losses, McKinney was dismissed and Steele was promoted to head coach. Steele's record for the remainder of the season matched that of McKinney: 17 wins and 25 losses. The Cougars finished the 1970-1971 season with a record of 34 wins and 50 losses, finishing in sixth place in the ABA Eastern Division and missing the playoffs.
Steele left the Cougars' head coaching position after the 1970-1971 season concluded. He was replaced by Tom Meschery. Steele moved on to become director of player personnel for the Cougars.
In 1972 Steele became the head coach at High Point University. Among his early players was current Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith. Steele coached at High Point for 32 years, from 1972 to 2003. His record at High Point was 457-412. Steele's High Point teams won eight conference titles. He also served as Athletic Director at HPU.
Steele retired after the end of the 2002-2003 season.
Coach Steele's Coaching Tree includes current Lehigh Men's Head Coach Brett Reed who was the High Point Associate Head Coach during the 2001-2002 season. Players who Steele coached who went on to become Head Coaches include Dave Odom ML Carr
Steele was elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2002 Steele was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. In 2005 Steele was inducted into the Guilford County, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2007, the Steele Sports Center was opened on the campus of High Point University, named after the Panthers' prolific coach and his wife, Kitty Steele, who was also a coach at HPU. This facility houses locker rooms, offices and training facilities for 11 of HPU's 16 varsity sports. Ironically, the men's and women's basketball teams are those excluded from this facility, due to the large amount of office space required for the two revenue-earning sports, as well as the former athletic administration's offices' proximity to the varsity basketball arena floor and locker rooms, which the basketball coaches moved into in April 2007.