Kevin Sumlin has added one of the best Arizona Wildcats from the mid-2000s to the football staff, hiring Syndric Steptoe to be the program’s director of player development.
Steptoe, a wide receiver and return specialist, played for Arizona from 2003-06. During that time he tallied 131 catches and six touchdowns, including a team-best 55 as a senior in 2006, and also returned two punts for TDs. He was twice an all-Pac-10 honoree as a returner.
“As a Wildcat who has been an active part of our program and an individual who is dedicated the betterment of young people, we couldn’t be happier to have Syndric joining the program in this new role,” Sumlin said in a news release. “His life experiences and successes before, during and after his time as a student-athlete at Arizona give him a unique perspective that our current and future student-athletes will be able to benefit greatly from.”
A seventh-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2007 NFL Draft, Steptoe played in 16 games that season for the Browns. After his pro career ended he got his Master’s degree and in 2015 joined Arizona’s athletic department as the associate director of C.A.T.S. Life Skills. He also worked for the UA’s Alumni Association as its director of alumni careers and professional development.
“For Coach Sumlin to have the insight of understanding the importance of this position and what it leads to as far as student-athletes being successful off the field is very exciting to me,” Steptoe said in the release. “I can’t express it in words, but through my actions taking this job head-on. It will be very rewarding to help our student-athletes navigate through the challenges of being a Division I athlete and a valuable asset to the Tucson community and their individual communities. When I played here, I wished there was someone here to help connect me to all the resources we have on campus, and I look forward to doing that for our current student-athletes.”