TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State’s football ship has been righted under Trent Miles’ watch. But the man who captained the ship has sailed.
Miles has left the ISU program to take the head coaching position at Georgia State University.
Miles, who has been ISU’s football coach since the 2008 season, confirmed the news Friday night after meeting with the football team at Memorial Stadium.
Georgia State, based in Atlanta, will have a news conference on Monday to announce Miles as the Panthers’ coach.
Miles, a Terre Haute native who played at ISU, said the decision to depart his hometown and his alma mater wasn’t taken lightly.
“It’s very difficult when your kids are in school and they have friends. Your mother isn’t a spring chicken anymore and she’s alone because of my father passing away. I have all my family here and my friends,” Miles said after the meeting.
“It’s difficult, but at the same time, it’s a chance to be a Division I football coach and advance my career,” he added. Miles was 20-36 in five seasons as ISU’s coach.
The Terre Haute native inherited a program widely considered to be the worst in Division I football.
ISU was winless in 2008 and had a one-win season in 2009 before it turned the corner, and has had three consecutive winning seasons since then. The three straight winning seasons are the first for the Sycamores since 1967-69.
“I take a great deal of pride in what happened here. This is my hometown and alma mater. I’m extremely proud. It doesn’t matter who’s coaching here now,” Miles said. “This program is in a situation where whoever takes over is taking over a top 20 football team with weapons and youth. I feel really good about what’s going on here.”
Miles told ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman at 8:30 a.m. Friday that he would resign to take the Georgia State job. Prettyman and Miles spent four hours together on Friday planning the transition to Miles’ successor.
“We talked through transition issues and I picked his brain on some things I need to be aware of in the transition,” Prettyman said. “I’m awfully happy for Trent. It’s a great opportunity for him to have a FBS job. He gets a tremendous increase in salary.”
Miles declined to discuss contract terms he agreed to at Georgia State.
ISU’s players filed into Memorial Stadium as dusk fell and Miles delivered the news to them in a 15-minute meeting. Emotions were mixed as the players filed out of the locker room.
“Some took it hard and some understand, but at the end of the day, it’s best for him,” ISU cornerback Johnny Towalid said. “Being recruited by Coach Miles, he tells you things you believe in, and it’s tough to hear him leave. But that’s just part of this business.”
Perhaps no player embodies the Miles era at ISU more so than linebacker Aaron Archie, who was part of his first recruiting class and who was with Miles for all five of his seasons.
“I have so much respect for coach Miles. I’ve been here since day one and he’s done nothing but good by me,” Archie said. “It’s sad to see him go, but then again, it’s better for him and his family.”
Georgia State was a Football Championship Division program in the Colonial Athletic Association, but the Panthers are moving up to FBS football and the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.
Miles said he interviewed with Georgia State after the conclusion of the season. The deal was finalized on Thursday and Miles alerted the ISU team on Friday.
“We got together after the season,” Miles said. “They were very professional and first-class. They treated everyone with respect and treated Indiana State with respect.”
Georgia State was 1-10 last season, its only win a 41-7 victory over winless Rhode Island. The program was started in 2009 by former Alabama and Kentucky coach Bill Curry.
The situation Miles inherits at the Atlanta school has similarities to the situation ISU was in when he arrived in Terre Haute. It will be a building job.
“My philosophy won’t change, it’ll just be a different place. Very few coaches have opportunities like this, especially African-American coaches. [Georgia State athletic director] Cheryl Levick is a great person and I love the way she approaches everything,” said Miles, who looks forward to being in fertile recruiting ground in the southeast.
Earlier in the week, it was reported by an internet site that Miles would take Western Michigan’s open job, but that turned out to be inaccurate. It was Georgia State that had its eye on Miles.
Georgia State hired another Indiana-based coach — former IUPUI men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter — in March.
Miles thanked ISU for the opportunity to advance his career.
“I want to thank Indiana State and Ron Prettyman for giving me that first [head] coaching job. I’ve grown and learned as I went. If it wasn’t for them and the players giving me that chance, I wouldn’t have the chance,” Miles said.
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State’s football ship has been righted under Trent Miles’ watch. But the man who captained the ship has sailed.
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Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
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These are the bad times for the Indiana State baseball team.
The will is there for the Sycamores to pull out of their worst slump of the season, but the results are not. The suffering continued on Wednesday at Bob Warn Field as Eastern Illinois defeated ISU 5-3.
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The Indiana State men’s track team has won the last two Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships, but the women have not stood on the top podium since 1999.
That may change this year, but the Sycamores will face some stiff competition in their quest for the championships.
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Rose-Hulman has won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s all-sports trophy for the fifth time in the past six year, the league announced Monday.
Rose tallied 66.5 points for its finishes in 11 men’s sports, just ahead of Franklin with 66. Hanover was third with 53 points.
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Mother Nature has been the bane of the Indiana State baseball team’s existence all season. Eight games wiped due to weather are a testament to that. So it was no surprise, though no less disappointing, when she didn’t deal Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea the greatest hand on Saturday as he tries to recover from a hip injury.
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The Indiana State Sycamores either won or finished as the top collegian in 12 events, led by the record-breaking performance of senior Brandon Pounds at the 2013 Billy Hayes Invitational Friday at Indiana University.
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Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
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Secret weapon: Kelsey Rosselli finishing Woods career with a bang
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, reporting game results to the Tribune-Star after a win or a loss is not always a high priority.
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Rosselli’s name might sound familiar to longtime Terre Haute softball followers because she was a standout for North High School, from where she graduated in 2009.
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Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
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The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
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Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
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