Ray Steinhoff has been with us for 39 years and has served as the Athletic Director for 35 years. He graduated from Orchard Farm in St. Charles in 1976. He then went to East Central College (ECC) for his first two years, then finished studying at Southeast Missouri State (SEMO). After this, he interviewed at several schools, but decided on New Haven when he was offered the ideal coaching jobs in an area he was familiar with. His wife, Ruth (née Scheer), was raised in New Haven, so they stayed and raised their two children, Ryan and Rachel.
Before college, Coach Steinhoff played various sports. In high school, he played baseball and basketball for all 4 years. He also played football the first 2 years then switched to cross country junior year, but realized that he didn’t want to run senior year. Even from a young age Coach Steinhoff wanted to be coaching in some sense. He has stated that “All of my coaches had a huge influence on me, going all the way back to my elementary P.E. teacher.” He saw all of them impact and influence students and he thought, “I want to do that for others.” It also helped that Coach Steinhoff’s older brother was beginning to coach, so he had a role-model to look up to.
While in college, Ray Steinhoff also had 2 of his college coaches push him to get ready for coaching. Once he started coaching and teaching, he was supported by “some really good administrators early in [his] career. Then Mr. Strobel took over as the principle,” and he continued to support Coach Steinhoff. Coach Steinhoff said, “I worked under and with Mr. Strobel for 20 plus years, and he had a big influence on me. He helped me out a tremendous amount in this career.”
Coach Steinhoff started at New Haven by teaching P.E. and he was also the coach for freshman volleyball, Varsity baseball, and freshman and JV basketball teams. He was promoted to be Varsity boys basketball coach and Athletic Director in the 1984-1985 school year. He coached both baseball and basketball for 34 years. In baseball, he was the Varsity coach for the first 19 years and then assisted Jim Scheer the last 15 years. In basketball, he served as the Varsity boys coach for 30 years after spending 4 years as the assistant (and serving as the JV boys coach). He then retired from these positions during the 2013-2014 school year, but he still served as the Athletic Director in a part time role for the last 5 years.
His favorite part of coaching and teaching was “The day to day relationship with the students. That goes even further than coaching. I loved teaching P.E.” Coach Steinhoff said that he “[has] been really fortunate to work with some tremendous teachers, coaches, and administrators.” After all these years, there is still one word Coach Steinhoff can use to describe this chapter of his life-- “blessed.” It was “awesome in every way. This is a great school. The tradition of excellence is true here both athletically and academically. I am proud to have played a role in that.”
Now he is retiring, for many reasons. “I have done this a long time,” “I don’t have that daily interaction with the kids [anymore],” “It’s time for someone new,” and “I need to take a step back and be with my family,” are just a few of those reasons. In his free time, Ray Steinhoff will continue to enjoy fishing, golfing, reading, and following sporting events, but he will still be looking for hobbies and challenges as well. He may also be looking for opportunities to volunteer.
We will all miss you, Coach Steinhoff. We know we will still see you standing against the wall at home basketball and volleyball games and standing in the hot, humid weather of cross country meets and softball games. We know you will visit the baseball team and track team rain or shine. You have accomplished your job. You have impacted and influenced all of us here at NHHS. Once a Shamrock, always a Shamrock.