By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A former four-year letterwinner for the Alabama basketball program and coach at Alabama State, Andrew Steele has been added to the Tennessee Tech men's basketball staff as an assistant coach, as announced by head coach John Pelphrey.
"We are happy to have Andrew, his wife Brittany, and son Kaden join our Tennessee Tech men's basketball family," Pelphrey expressed. "Our search was intentional, deliberate, and process-oriented, the same way we handle our recruiting process of student-athletes. We are committed to bringing people on board who are curious learners, value leadership, and have a passion to develop relationships with our young men. There is no question Andrew will exceed expectations."
Steele expressed his excitement to come aboard with the Golden Eagle staff and work with the 17 student-athletes making up the 2021-22 Tech roster.
"This is an unbelievable opportunity for me and my family and I'm super blessed to be in this situation," Steele said. "To be able to work for and learn under someone like Coach Pelphrey, with his pedigree and the connections that we have, is one of the best opportunities I could ask for at this point in my career. With the rest of the staff we've assembled, I believe we have the pieces that we need to be successful. Hopefully, we will be able to add value to the student-athletes both on and off the court. This is just an unbelievably exciting time and we're so happy to be Golden Eagles."
Last season marked the first for Steele as a full-time assistant coach, serving in the role at Alabama State under head coach and former NBA veteran Mo Williams. Steele helped lead the Hornets during an obscure season limited to just a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which produced a pair of double-figure scorers in Brandon Battle and Kenny Strawbridge. Both players also averaged more than seven rebounds per contest during the team's 18-game season.
Prior to his one-year stint at Alabama State, Steele served as the director of video services at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, during the 2019-20 campaign. Before returning to Tuscaloosa, he spent the 2018-19 season as the director of basketball operations at Troy University.
In his one year with the Trojans, he was responsible for all aspects of the program's budget, game scheduling, and coordinating team travel. He also held responsibilities for all basketball-related analytics data for practice and games while overseeing the team's graduate assistants and student managers.
Steele spent two seasons on staff at the University of South Alabama, including the 2016-17 campaign as a graduate assistant and 2017-18 as the director of basketball operations. In his Jags tenure, he served as the team's video coordinator, assisted with player and team development, conducted individual workouts, and was responsible for all analytics during practices and games. He also monitored the academic progress of the student-athletes and oversaw the student manager staff.
While at South Alabama, he worked closely with current Golden Eagle graduate transfer guard John Pettway, who redshirted the 2016-17 season and played in 24 of the Jags' 32 games in 2017-18.
Prior to his collegiate coaching career, Steele served as the head boys basketball coach and a physical education teacher at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, Ala. from 2014-16. He also spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach on the JCCHS staff.
As a four-year letterwinner for the Alabama basketball program from 2008-13, Steele appeared in 94 games with 20 starts during his playing career. A natural team leader, he helped the Crimson Tide to three 20-win seasons, one NCAA Tournament appearance, and a pair of NIT berths. During his time in Tuscaloosa, he won the Guy Lee Turner Defensive Player Award as a freshman, the Hustle Award during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 campaigns, and served as a team captain in 2012-13.
"I was fortunate enough to start working with Drew [Steele] when he was a student-athlete at the University of Alabama," Tech assistant coach Alex Fain said. "He was the best teammate and leader of men that you could ask for as a coach. He has only continued to grow in those areas as a coach and I know he will pour those same qualities into our young men."
Tech assistant coach Blake Gray added of Steele, "We're thrilled to welcome Andrew to our staff. Andrew and I have known each other for over a decade dating back to when he played at Alabama. His passion for the game and desire to help others immediately jumped out and created an instant connection between us. His experiences both as a player and at the various stops in his coaching career will be extremely valuable to our program."
Steele graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor's degree in business marketing in 2012 and earned his master's degree in sport management from the University of South Alabama in 2018. He is married to the former Brittany Hines, who threw javelin for the Crimson Tide track & field team. The couple welcomed their first son, Kaden, into the world in March 2021.
"Hopefully, we'll have a normal season despite the ever-changing world of COVID," Steele expressed. "I think we've built everything to where this can be a breakthrough year for us. We have a great group of guys and already I see a great connection with them that makes me believe we can take that next step forward. I'm excited for what the future holds."