Coach Paul Vandersteen coached cross country/track & field and taught science at Neuqua Valley for twenty-six years. Since the inception of the Neuqua Valley men's cross country program in the fall of 1997, it grew consistent numbers in the 130 range and was regarded as one of the top programs in the State. The Wildcats placed in the top four at the IHSA State Meet eleven times, including three State titles. His 2007 team was Nike Team National Champions.
Coach Vandersteen started his coaching career as the head women's track and field coach and assistant cross country coach at Peoria Notre Dame High School and was the assistant women's track and field coach at Pekin Community High School. After moving to the suburbs of Chicago, he coached the hurdlers, sprinters, and distance runners during his tenure at Waubonsie Valley High School before transferring to Neuqua Valley.
An avid runner since the age of nine, his age-group performances ranked him nationally in all distance events. As a 6th grader, he ran 4:58 for a mile and he was the National Junior Olympic Cross Country Champion in Longview, Washington at the age of 14. He competed at Northern Illinois University and The University of Iowa.
Coach Vandersteen is happily married to his wife, Charmaine, and has two children, Samantha and Austin. He is a native wildlife enthusiast and spends his free time biking, running, and gardening.
Paul will be NRCTC's head coach. He will not only be providing his Hall-of-Fame knowledge to the program, he will be writing the workout plans for each training group.