One of the top coaches and administrators at Lehigh has been John Steckbeck. He was the assistant director of physical education and coach of swimming, track and cross country at Lehigh from 1955 through 1959. After leaving for a brief period to teach and coach at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Steckbeck returned to Lehigh as direc-tor of intramural sports/assistant director of physical education at Lehigh for a second time from 1962 until his retirement in June of 1979.
Steckbeck's accomplishments were not strictly centered on intercollegiate programs. Under his leadership Lehigh implemented one of the country's most extensive intramural programs which included a wrestling tournament, the largest of its kind on one campus in the nation. He also instituted the now famous "turkey trot" run. Under his guidance intramurals at Lehigh increased from six sports to 43.
Steckbeck has been inducted into the American Indian Sports Hall of Fame, and received awards from the New York Touchdown Club and Harrisburg Sports Writers Association.
He was the Author of "The Fabulous Redmen," a history of Jim Thorpe and the famed American Indian school at Carlisle, Pa., and an honorary member of the Ogallala Sioux tribe.
Steckbeck died in 1979 and was married to the late Charlotte Doll Steckbeck. They have three children and four grandchildren including Anne E. Whitacre '91.