by Wes Frahm
Sometimes what you see is what you get. Sometimes the person behind the smile can live up to the hype.
Such is the case with Michigan Tech quarterback Steve Short. He is a special athlete—recruited in both football and basketball out of high school. He is a team leader—one of only a handful of Tech players named captain as a sophomore. He is a good student—one who has earned a 3.21 cumulative grade point average in exercise science.
It seems that Short has always exhibited those characteristics. He recalls being the leader and quarterback in grade school pickup games. “At recess I was always the quarterback,” he says. “I guess I was lucky I could throw a little bit and run around and make plays.”
Short credits much of his development on the football field to his father, Dan, a teacher and coach at Kingsford High School. “He would run routes for me to throw to him. It helped that he had keys to the gym, too.”
The 6-0, 190-pound Short turned into a two-sport star for the Flivvers. He was named the Upper Peninsula Player of the Year in basketball as a senior and at one point was contacted by Tech men’s basketball coach Kevin Luke about playing hoops for the Huskies. He had his sights set on the gridiron, though.
Short played both offense and defense as a prep, leading Kingsford to the state quarterfinals in 2004. Tech football coach Tom Kearly persuaded Short to continue his career in Houghton.
“Coach Kearly made me feel really welcome and wanted,” says Short. “I knew it was going to be a good fit both on the field and with academics.”
Short sat out the 2005 season as a redshirt and saw some playing time early during his freshman season in 2006. By the fifth game of the year, he had worked his way into the starting role. The quarterback led the Huskies to a 14-12 Homecoming victory over Hillsdale in his debut and helped Tech reel off six straight wins to close out the season.
The undefeated streak ended with last year’s season opener, but it wasn’t without a record-setting performance from Short. He broke Tech single-game records for passing yards (431), total offense yards (504) and passing touchdowns (six).
Short is now 12-5 as a starting quarterback with the fifth-most passing yards (3,150) in school history. He has two years to go, with a lot of expectations.
“Steve has a chance to be a special player in our league,” says Kearly. “He’s a great all-around athlete, he’s really getting comfortable with our offense, and he’s a great leader.”
The future looks bright for Short and the Huskies. Tech’s offense returns mainly intact with Short at the helm.
“I feel like we have a really talented group of guys,” says Short. “A lot of them have been in town all summer working out, and we’re all like brothers. We do everything together.”