Travis Stepps is the longest-tenured member of the Saluki coaching staff, beginning his 11th season at SIU as the lone holdover from the Jerry Kill staff.
Stepps will coach outside linebackers in 2014, but has served as the teams secondary coach until this season. Eleven of his players have earned All-Conference accolades, including All-Americans Craig Turner and Korey Lindsey.
In 2010, Lindsey received the FCS Elite Defensive Back Award from the College Football Performance Awards, recognizing him as the top performer at the cornerback position based upon his cumulative performance among all Division I FCS cornerbacks in 2008 and 2009. In addition to those awards, Lindsey was a finalist in 2010 for the Buck Buchanan Award that goes to the top defensive player in the FCS. Under Stepps' tutelage, Lindsey was a three-time All-MVFC selection and finished his career ranked third in school history in career interceptions (14) and ninth in pass breakups (16).
Stepps' secondaries have ranked among the nation's leaders in interceptions. In 2009, the Saluki defense was second nationally with 23 picks. In 2008, Southern ranked 22nd with 16 interceptions. The Salukis have also returned 12 interceptions for touchdowns in the past six seasons under Stepps' watch. SIU ranked No. 3 in the conference in interceptions in 2011.
Prior to joining the Southern Illinois coaching staff, Stepps spent two seasons on the staff at Washburn University. As a player, he was a two-time All-American defensive back at Pittsburg State. The Fort Scott, Kan. native earned a bachelor's degree in social studies and education from Pittsburg State and a master's degree in sports management from Southern Illinois.
He and his wife, Kristina, reside in Carbondale and were married following the 2012 season.