Travis Steele spent the past 10 seasons at Xavier, including nine on the staff of his predecessor, Chris Mack. Steele, 36, is the 18th head coach in Xavier basketball history.
“We could not be more excited about how this process unfolded,” said Xavier University Director of Athletics Greg Christopher. “We had tremendous interest in our head coaching position, including several successful Division I head coaches. That speaks volumes to the perception of our program nationally, especially in the basketball community. We gathered input from a variety of experts in the field, including former players, coaches, administrators and media. Ultimately, we were prepared and focused on the candidates we had targeted. I’d like to thank all of these people who were a part of the process, especially the candidates who took the time to meet with us in San Antonio.
“As we completed our national search process, it became clear that the best head coach for our program is the person we knew the best, Travis Steele. Travis has impacted the Xavier basketball program in a variety of ways during his time at Xavier, whether in the office, on the court or in recruiting. Travis brings passion, personality and organizational leadership skills to our head coaching position, which is really the CEO of our basketball program. He has earned a reputation as one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game and one of the future stars in this profession.”
Steele has been a part of nine NCAA Tournament teams in his 10 years at Xavier, including five teams that reached at least the Sweet 16. This past year’s team won XU’s first BIG EAST Regular Season Championship, a school-record final AP ranking of No. 3 and the first NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed in school history.
“I am excited about the opportunity to build on the success that we’ve enjoyed in the Xavier basketball program,” said Steele. “I want to thank the Xavier administration and everyone involved in the search process, especially Greg Christopher.”
Steele, who was named as one of the top two recruiters in the BIG EAST Conference by Sporting News basketball magazine, is a big part of the reason Xavier’s recent recruiting classes have earned national attention. He has played a key role in multiple nationally-ranked recruiting classes in recent years, including three straight classes ranked among the top 20 in the country.
Steele has participated in the Nike-produced Villa 7 consortium, which annually brings together the country’s elite assistant basketball coaches to build the next generation of great basketball leaders.
Former Xavier head coach Sean Miller hired Steele prior to the 2008-09 season as Xavier’s Director of Basketball Operations. Mack promoted Steele to assistant coach after he took over the program prior to the 2009-10 season. Steele was promoted to Associate Head Coach following the 2015-16 season.
Prior to Xavier, Steele worked on the staff at Indiana. He joined the Hoosiers in August of 2006, taking on the duties of the video coordinator. After serving as the video coordinator for a season and a half while at IU, he was promoted to the position of assistant coach in February, 2008.
Prior to his time with the Hoosiers, Steele served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Wabash Valley College (2005-06) and spent a year with the Ohio State basketball program as a graduate manager (2004-05) under former XU head coach Thad Matta.
From 2001-06, Steele was a coach for the Spiece/Indiana Adidas Elite AAU Basketball program. Steele also was an assistant varsity coach at Ben Davis High School while attending Butler University from 2001-04.
Steele, the brother of former XU assistant and current Akron head coach John Groce, graduated cum laude from Butler in May 2004, earning a bachelor of science degree in marketing. Steele was born in Danville, Indiana. He and his wife Amanda reside in Cincinnati with their five-year-old son, Winston.