PALM DESERT, Calif. – COD Football head coach Jack Steptoe will be inducted into the Los Angeles Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame on June 30, 2018.
Steptoe played wide receiver for the LA Valley Monarchs from 1974 through 1975 and the team won a National Championship in 1975. “I played almost that entire season with four broken ribs,” talking about the 1975 season Steptoe said, “we were a tough group, there was no give, our defense was phenomenal and our offense was explosive.”
In 2008, the entire 1975 National Championship team was inducted into the Monarchs Hall of Fame in a ceremony at LA Valley College in the Valley Glen neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. The 2018 induction will hold a special place in Coach Steptoe’s heart, as he will be inducted with the Monarchs head coach in 1975, John Becker.
“Coach Becker is a special person,” remembered Steptoe, “when I was at (Alain Leroy) Locke High School in South Central (Los Angeles), Becker came to see me. Here I am, running stairs and out of the blue, I hear someone yelling, ‘you Steptoe?’ I turned around and this guy is walking my way. After a brief introduction, I find out that he’s from The Valley and he drove all the way down into South Central to see me. It was a little strange for a high school senior.” Out of that unique encounter developed a strong and life long relationship.
“At that point in my life, I needed to get my grades up if I wanted to play football at a four-year,” Steptoe continued, “and the Community College route provided an avenue for me to continue my education and play football. It changed my life and John Becker made that happen.”
The 1975 season was a magical one as the Monarchs were nationally ranked most of the season, ending the regular season with a record of 9-1 and a #2 ranking. LA Valley faced the daunting task of taking on the Fresno City Rams in the Potato Bowl in
Bakersfield. “The Potato Bowl was a true ‘North vs. South’ match-up held at Memorial Stadium in Bakersfield,” said Steptoe, “we played a great game that day, claiming a hard fought Bowl game.” After the game, Steptoe was presented with the Offensive MVP award.
Steptoe would eventually parlay the success of that season into a scholarship to the University of Utah and eventually playing in the National Football League.
On September 9th, 2017, the Roadrunners will travel to LA Valley to take on the Monarchs at 7 p.m.
(Courtesy, Brian Silva, College of the Desert Sports Information)