Love on the line and in the spotlight

Bill Althaus
The Examiner USA TODAY NETWORK

Ryan Schartz laughs at the question because that's all the former Fort Osage High School football coach has been asked about the past couple of weeks. 

Schartz led the 2012 Indians to their second state championship appearance. His quarterback was Steven McBee, a 2013 graduate who blew out his knee in college and had to switch from play calling to deal making. 

Steven McBee, a 2013 graduate of Fort Osage High School, starred at quarterback for the Indians and played a big role in the team's first state championship appearance. He now lives in Gallatin, Mo., where he ranches and is involved in several other businesses. He is also the co-star of the Fox series ‘Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer’ that last week and airs Thursday nights. He is seen here with two of the contestants looking for love - or money?

McBee is now a co-star on the Fox TV reality series “Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer,” in which he and another bachelor, Kurt Sowers from Charlotte, N.C., must determine if the female contestants on the show are looking for love or money – as one of the bachelors is materially rich, while the other isn't. 

In a whirlwind, McBee left his ranch, worked on the series, did promotional interviews and during last week's premiere, saw his face on billboards in Times Square. 

Although the show debuted in the metro area Jan. 6, it does not give anything away to let readers know that McBee is now worth over $10 million through his ranch in Gallatin, Mo., and other business ventures. 

He is the president and founder of McBee Farm & Cattle Company, which started with a theme that came straight from the heart. 

"Since the first day we first started farming, we've had a sincere love for the land, and the responsibility to future generations to leave the ground in better condition than we found it," he said. "I love farming, but this reality TV stuff is all new to me." 

And new to his former coach. 

"Steven McBee on a reality show," Schartz said, with a chuckle. "It seems like anytime I turn on my TV I see two of my former quarterbacks with Skylar (Thompson, a quarterback at Kansas State) playing in a bowl game and Steven jumping into a pool with a bunch of gals who are looking for love." 

He pauses for a moment. 

"It's crazy, but you know what?" Schartz says."Steven is perfect for that series. You just knew he was going to be successful when he was in high school and now, he's going to use this show to promote his businesses, and I think that's great. I don't know if he's going to find love, but I know he'll have a good time." 

McBee recently reconnected with his coach – now the athletics director at Fort Osage – and it made an impact on both of them. 

Steven McBee now lives on a farm in Gallatin, Mo. The 2013 Fort Osage High School graduate is one of the stars of ‘Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer.’

"A while back, he knows I get up early and I got a message from him about 5 in the morning," Schartz said. "He had a board on a wall at his ranch up in Gallatin, and it had a list of the things he was going to do that day. At the bottom was a quote of the day, which was something I did when I was his coach. He told me that made a big impact on him and that he had a quote of the day for all the people who worked for him. That made me feel good. It's great to find out you influence or make an impact on one of your guys, and you don't really know about until 10 years later." 

McBee is back in Missouri, overseeing his company and having some fun visiting with friends and family members from his hometown. 

"It's all crazy," said McBee. "I got a call from a casting guy, who told me about this reality show they were going to shoot last year. You know, can you believe something like that? Well, it turned out to be true. I got the call back in January, went out to Los Angeles for an audition and I guess, the rest is history.” 

"We filmed from Aug. 28 to Oct. 18 and I can promise you there were no scripts or anything that was made up.” 

"Everything you see, every emotion, is 100 percent real. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be involved.” 

The women on the show know that one bachelor is wealthy, and that is they key element to the series. 

“They know one of us is wealthier than the other," McBee said. "They just don’t know which is which, which in the grand scheme of things shouldn’t matter. We're all looking for love, someone to share our lives with, so tune in to find out if it happens.”