It is the second straight year that the pair has swept the Mountain Region men's coaching awards.
It is the second such honor for Steffan and the first for Benson.
Steffan was honored during the annual Pole Vault Summit in Reno.
Paige Blackburn was selected as the region's top female field athlete.
Since his arrival in 2008, three members of the men's pole vault team - Nick Frawley, Cale Simmons, Joey Uhle - have combined for 10 All-America awards. Frawley, who claimed a pair of top-three finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships (second in 2008, third in 2010), is the program's most decorated Division I All-American, with four overall selections.
Steffan has coached the Falcons to eight Mountain West titles in the pole vault, including five of the last six indoor titles and the last three outdoor titles. Simmons (2012 indoor, 2012 outdoor, 2013 outdoor) and Uhle (2013 indoor, 2014 co-indoor, 2014 outdoor) have each claimed three titles, while Frawley added two (2008 indoor, 2010 indoor) and Dylan Bell earned a share of the indoor title in 2014. In addition, Simmons set new Mountain West championship-meet (18'1¾" in 2012) and all-time (18'4¾" in 2013) records.
The men have amassed 23 top-three finishes over the last seven years, including a sweep of the medals at the last two outdoor championship meets. Highlighted by a five-meet span of at least five scoring finishers, the men have accounted for 48 top-eight finishes.
The men have rewritten the Academy record book since Steffan's arrival at the Academy, totaling seven of the top-10 indoor marks and six of the top-10 outdoor marks in program history. In 2013, Air Force was the only team in the nation to have three vaulters clear 18 feet during the outdoor season, as the Simmons twins (Cale-18'4¾", Rob-18'0½") and Uhle (18'1") were ranked in the nation's top-12.
The women's pole vault team has accounted for four of the five all-conference selections in Academy history, as Melissa Beerse (2008 indoor), Rachel Simmons (2009 indoor), Kimber Shealy (2009 outdoor, 2012 indoor) have all finished within the top three at a conference meet. A total of four Falcons have qualified to the first-round of the NCAA Championships.
Steffan's female vaulters have completely rewritten the Academy's top-10 lists, as the top nine indoor clearances and eight of the top nine outdoor marks have come under his watch. He has coached two 13-foot vaulters, including Beerse (indoor record holder at 13'6½") and Shealy (outdoor record holder at 13'1¾"), as well as 10 of the 11 Falcons that have cleared the 12-foot bar in either season. In addition, Shealy's outdoor clearance of 13'1¾" broke the 10-year-old facility record at the Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex.
Under Steffan's watch, Frawley (2009 indoor) and Simmons (2012 indoor) have been named the Mountain Region Field Event Athletes of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, while Shealy picked up a pair of USTFCCCA All-Academic honors (2009, 2010).
Steffan took over coaching the high jump in 2014, guiding Rachel Herald and Taylor Smith to Mountain West titles at the outdoor championship meet. He also saw Herald break long-standing Academy records in the women's event, as she cleared 5'10½" to break the program's 18-year-old indoor mark and 5'9¼" to shatter the previous outdoor mark that had stood since 1986. The men also accounted for a pair of top-10 indoor improvements, as Kobi Rex cleared the third-best height in Academy history (7'0½") and Smith debuted in fifth with a clearance of 6'10¾".
Steffan joined the Falcons' program after spending seven years at the University of New Mexico, where he coached the pole vault and men's multi-event athletes. While with the Lobos, Steffan rebuilt the men's and women's pole vault program. Under his watch, three UNM pole vaulters competed at the NCAA Championships, while at least three qualified for the regional championships during each of his last four years. Also during that time, eight Lobos earned all-conference honors. Steffan coached former Lobo Robert Caldwell to All-America status, in addition to leading Derek Mackel to the NCAA Midwest Regional record of 18'1".
In addition to his work with the pole vault team, Steffan also improved the Lobos' decathlon and heptathlon teams. He guided New Mexico to two decathlon titles, as well as the first MWC heptathlon crown. Coaching multiple decathlon finalists, Steffan has also coached six all-conference honorees in the multi-events and two NCAA Championship participants.
Prior to joining the UNM staff, Steffan spent three years at Wichita State University. While there, he coached All-Americans in the pole vault, triple jump and heptathlon. His women's pole vault team finished first, second and third at the Missouri Valley Conference championships during each of his three years.
Steffan began his collegiate coaching career at the University of Virginia in 1991. During his six years at Virginia, he coached All-American athletes in the high jump, heptathlon, decathlon, 400-meter hurdles and long jump. He also guided 22 Atlantic Coast Conference champions.
An all-Western Athletic Conference decathlete for New Mexico, Steffan graduated from the school in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in education. A native of Aztec, N.M., Steffan has two sons - Jake and Trey.
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