NATCHITOCHES – When Steve Roe became the sports information director at Northwestern State University in 1980, he had no idea he was following in the footsteps of a future Hall of Famer.
Nor did Roe know – or expect – he would join his predecessor in the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame. Nearly four decades after he closed out his five-year Demon tenure, Roe was enshrined in the hall as part of the Class of 2022.
Roe received the honor Tuesday afternoon at the 65th annual CoSIDA national convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
“You don’t go into (your career) thinking that (you will become a Hall of Famer),” Roe said. “Our profession is a behind-the-scenes one. It’s never been about the people in a communication office. It’s about the athletes and the coaching staffs we work with and promote. The satisfaction comes from seeing those guys win games and become All-Americans or national Player of the Year and then come back. I’ve been at Iowa long enough now that some of the players I work with are the sons of players I worked with earlier. That’s the reward of it. I’m very appreciative of the Hall of Fame, but the day-to-day and year-to-year satisfaction of promoting really good people at a really good institution has been the highlight of my career.”
Roe began his Demon career following in the footsteps of CoSIDA Hall of Famer Dan McDonald, who had headed south to then-University of Southwestern Louisiana, where he spent the remainder of his Hall of Fame career.
NSU Vice President for External Affairs Jerry Pierce quickly pounced on Roe, who had completed a graduate assistantship under legendary SID Bob Anderson at then-Northeast Louisiana.
“This prestigious and much-deserved honor reflects the success of Steve’s long and distinguished career in intercollegiate sports communications and administration,” Pierce said. “Even during the early years of his profession at Northwestern, it was obvious that Steve had the immense talent, strong work ethic and sharp perspective on college sports to make a huge positive impact in that arena. On top of all that, he and his wife Janet are just genuinely good folks.”
From Northwestern State, Roe headed back to his home state of Iowa, spending three years at Drake University before joining the Iowa staff in 1990.
Roe has enriched Iowa’s tradition of stability since taking over the department’s top position in 2011. Entering his 12th year atop the department, Roe is the fourth director of athletics communications/sports information in Hawkeye history, following Eric Wilson (1923-68), George Wine (1968-93) and Phil Haddy (1993-2010).
“One theme we’ve had at Iowa is stability,” Roe said. “We’ve had two (football) head coaches in over 40 years and only four head SIDs since 1924. Longevity and stability, I’ve been fortunate that’s been part of my career. We haven’t moved around a lot or had to deal with a lot of new things. It’s been very stable, and I’ve been at a great university in the town I grew up – a great college town. I’ve been extremely fortunate.”
While Roe has been deeply rooted in his home state for the better part of the past four decades, he remains grateful for what he learned and the moments he experienced at NSU.
“One thing that will always stick out was the track guys winning that national championship in the 4×100 at LSU,” he said. “Those were great athletes. The football program had great athletes. Gary Reasons being the first first-team All-American I worked with. Joe Delaney was a great story from the time he was there and with the Chiefs. I unfortunately had to learn how to deal with a tragedy, but I had great experiences all around. I met great people and worked with great people. It was fun to be part of those programs.”