Football Coach Profiles
As of February 2006 Dean Dowty has been named Head Football Coach at College of the Desert. Dowty played at COD in 1987-1989 before taking a football scholarship to Utah State University. Dowty graduated with a BS degree in Communications from Utah State in 1993.
Dowty is a proven Offensive Coordinator who has played a vital role in taking football programs to the next level. In just his second year as Head Coach (2007) Dowty lead the Roadrunners to a Co-Conference Championship with a 9-1 regular season record, made it to the State Playoff for the 1st time in school history and gained an invite to the Golden Empire Bowl vs. Bakersfield and was voted “Coach of the Year” by his peers for 2007. The Roadrunners ranked 1st in Total Offense and 2nd in Total Defense in conference play 2007. College of the Desert has recently been moved to one of the most highly recruited conferences in the country. The new conference will includes the following teams: El Camino, Riverside, Mt. Sac, Chaffey, Cerritos, and Citrus. In COD’s first year in the new conference the Roadrunners were invited to the Orange County Bowl making it to post season play for the second year in a row.
“I believe it is my job to get student athletes out on scholarship to continue their academic and athletic careers at a higher level.”
While Dowty was an assistant coach at College of the Desert, from 1992-1999, the Roadrunners had some of their most impressive winning seasons. In 1994 COD produced a win over heavily favored El Camino, beating the Warriors 59-48 in a barn burner to become the Southern California Bowl Champions. Dowty then took the Offensive Coordinator job at Bethel College in Kansas in 2000. While Dowty was at Bethel, he coached the KCAC Conference Offensive Player of the Year, QB Brent Martins, an Academic All-American. He also helped the Threshers to an 8-2 winning season for only the second time in Bethel football history. The Threshers ended up ranked 20th in the nation in 2000.
Dowty's next move was to come back to California and coach for the Los Angeles Avengers Arena Football League team. Under Head Coach Ed Hodgkiss, the Avengers reached the play-offs for the first time in franchise history in 2002.
Now back at College of the Desert, Coach Dowty said, "I am very excited about working with the student athletes again. Community College can be a great environment to develop your skills, academically and athletically, and prepare yourself to transfer to a four year institution. I look forward to great successes both in the classrooms and on the playing field here at College of the Desert. I am proud to be a Roadrunner again!"
Coach Dowty is married to Jeanell and has five daughters; Nyckole, Mersadez, Leslie, Lola and Leah.
As of February 2006, Jack E. Steptoe has been assistant football coach for wide receivers. Steptoe is a veteran of the NFL as a pro receiver and playing with teams like: San Francisco Forty Niners, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers, the Canadian league and the USFL before retiring in 1984.
Coach Steptoe has been coaching in the desert for more than 17 years. He coached with College of The Desert in 1984-1987, winning the Foothill Conference and the Sothern California Bowl in 1986. From there he went to Palm Desert High School and coached there from 1994-1997, winning their first DVL championship in 1997. He rejoined College of the Desert in 2003, and in 2005 returned to Palm Desert High School and helped them to another DVL championship and a 10-0 season; the best record in school history, finishing with an over all record of 12-1.
Coach Steptoe works to develop players athletically and academically, preparing these young men to transfer on to four-year colleges. His coaching skills have allowed him the joy of coaching many All-Conference receiving and All-State recipients over the years.
Now back at College of the Desert, Coach Steptoe participated in the roadrunners' 2007 best season ever, winning the foothill conference with a record of 9-1 and best record in school history. This qualified them for a bowl bid against #1 ranked Bakersfield in the Golden Empire Bowl.
Coach Steptoe is single and has three children: Diondre, Eric, and daughter Alyssia. He is extremely happy to be a part of an outstanding staff and to be a Roadrunner once again.
Marcus Black is no stranger to College of the Desert. Marcus played at COD before receiving a football scholarship to Utah State University. After attending Utah State, Marcus spent some time in the NFL and the USFL. Marcus coached Defensive Line at COD in 1987-1989. We are glad to welcome him back this year, he brings a wealth of experience with him. Marcus is married and has three children.
Coach Mercer is beginning his first season on the Desert coaching staff. Prior to joining our staff, Jeremy spent the past three seasons as the Running Backs Coach and Junior Varsity Offensive Coordinator at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
In 2008 Jeremy jointed the coaching staff at Rochester Community and Techinical College, helping lead the Yellow Jackets to the North Star Bowl.
Jeremy began his coaching career as a Student Assistant at Colorado Mesa University upon the conclusion of his playing career. Jeremy was a three year letter winner at CMU as a fullback.
Jeremy earned his Bachelor's degree from Colorado Mesa University and most recently earned his Master's degree from St. Ambrose University. He grew up in Lakewood, Colorado, where he graduated from Green Mountain High School. In 2010 Jeremy married his wife, Lianne, in Buena Vista, Colorado.
Bill began at College of the Desert as a volunteer in the Fall of 2000 and has been acting as our Strength Coach since 2001. He has been involved in weight training for over 40 years, he competed in Olympic lifting, Powerlifting and was a State and National champion in the Masters Division besides also officiating in ADFPA, AAU, and USAPL events for many years. Bill also works with individual students, men and women, on enhancing their general physical fitness and specific strength goals.
Todd Conger’s experience includes twelve years in the Athletic Training profession including five years at Norco High School and the SPORT Clinic in Riverside. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at California State University – Fullerton and his Master of Science in Athletic Training at California Baptist University. Todd likes to spend time hiking and traveling with his wife and is active in California Athletic Trainers’ Association with governmental affairs.
Arkansas State University (1960) BSE
3 year letterman, football
1960 Academic All American
1/LT U.S. Army (1960-1963) Infantry, Airborne and Ranger Qualified
Athletic Director & Dept Chairman, Rancho Alamitos High School (1965-1972)
Garden Grove Unified School District, District Athletic Director Supervisor (1972-1974)
K-12 Life Teaching General Teaching Credential, Cal
K-12 Life Administrative Credential, CA
M.A. Degree, Athletic Administration, Cal State, L.A.
Administrator/Commandant St. Catherine's Military Academy, Anaheim, CA (1974)2003)
Desert Sands Unified School District, Substitute Teacher (2003-present)
College of the Desert, Athletic Department, Equipment Manager, Football, 2006 to Present
Married to Gretchen Zaborowski (49 years); 4 children; 10 grandchildren
11 year resident of Palm Desert Greens in Palm Desert.