Steadman, Bales offer proof: You can come back home
The following has been edited and updated at 6 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013.
One has already returned to the system, albeit temporarily (for now). The other plans to return as well.
Jason Steadman, Robert D. Edgren Class of 2001 and a former All-Far East basketball player, is back in the Pacific, specifically as an intern in the DODDS Pacific area office under Far East athletics coordinator Don Hobbs. It's the last part of his work on a bachelor's degree in sports management.
“I wanted to work in a system I was comfortable with,” said Steadman, 29, who after graduating from Edgren matriculated at the UT and later attended Full Sail Music School in Orlando, Fla. “Playing sports out here was awesome, and I wanted to get back into sports.”
Steadman was one of the Edgren football “We Want In!” crowd of the late 1990s. Under coach Steve Boyd, now at Seoul American, the Eagles struggled to field football teams year in and year out and try to schedule games against schools that were reluctant to travel north to Misawa Air Base.
The only school that would play Edgren home and away in those days was Nile C. Kinnick. To play anybody else, the Eagles had to board buses and travel to locales such as Yokota and Zama.
That all changed in 1999, when Mike Diekman took over as DODDS Japan district superintendent and, in one of his first official acts, directed all DODDS Japan schools to play each other in all sports. Steadman says he hopes to someday return to DODDS as a teacher and coach and "walk in Coach Boyd's shoes."
Steadman and his sister Sarah, a Kadena graduate 2007 who’s doing her student teaching at Bob Hope Primary School on Kadena, are living back home with their mom, Stephanie, a former Kadena High School guidance counselor who now works in the DODDS Pacific area office's education department.
The letters UT resonate with a Volunteer alumnus, Fred Bales, Kubasaki High School’s athletics director whose son Josh, a 2010 graduate, is now a student-manager and student-coach at Central Arkansas University, and was put on partial scholarship for the 2012-13 season.
The junior desires to teach and coach, with his ultimate goal getting back into the DODDS system as well, the elder Bales said.