TERRE HAUTE —
The two most successful football coaches, in terms of winning percentage, in Rose-Hulman history are returning to familiar roles with a new — and it really is new — challenge for the future.
Steve Englehart and Jayson Martin will reprise their roles as head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively, when Florida Institute of Technology, located in Melbourne, Fla., plays its first football game in school history in 2013.
A key difference? Englehart is taking his career path out of his hometown for the first time, while Martin is returning to his hometown.
If you recall, Englehart was a standout quarterback at Terre Haute North, then at Indiana State University. His coaching career began at Rose-Hulman, four years as an assistant, then four years leading the Engineers to a 26-14 mark — four consecutive winning seasons — from 2006-09. After Rose, he spent last season as offensive coordinator at his alma mater, helping direct the Sycamores to their first winning mark in 1996.
Martin was also an outstanding quarterback, first at Holy Trinity High School in Melbourne, Fla, then for four years at Kentucky State. He returned home as an assistant coach at Holy Trinity for four years, then returned for one year at Kentucky State as a volunteer assistant.
Applying for a coaching position at Rose, Martin was hired by Englehart, serving as an assistant for two years — the last year as offensive coordinator. When Englehart departed, he took over as Rose’s interim head coach for the 2010 season.
Just how did they manage to get back together?
“Before I took the ISU job, I was contacted by Florida Tech to see if I had an interest in helping them start their football program,” Englehart recalled. “I thought the opportunity was off the table, since I was already coaching at my alma mater. I was thinking [FIT] wouldn’t be hiring anyone until at least after the 2011 season.”
During this time period, Florida Tech had started the recruiting process, led by former Notre Dame player Ray Herring, bringing in 48 freshmen players for this school year.
“They decided they needed a leader for those 48 freshmen, so they expedited the hiring process,” Englehart said. “We did a phone interview, then an in-person interview, then offered me the job after the interview.”
Meanwhile, Martin enjoyed a successful 6-4 season as Rose’s interim coach. He applied for the permanent position, but Jeff Sokol was hired instead.
“[Rose] opened up the job and hired another guy,” Martin stated. “I was left holding the bag, so I had to move on. I knew about the situation [at Florida Tech]. I’m happy where I am now.”
It just so happened, Martin’s former high school coach, John Thomas, moved on to be Florida Tech’s director of football operations — charged with making the fledgling football program a reality.
“He asked me, ‘Would you like to come back here?’ ” Martin said. “I said yes. So I started in with recruiting and he said I’d be on the coaching staff when they start playing in 2013. I’m excited to get back to Florida.”
Englehart is excited too.
“This is a great opportunity,” Englehart noted. “I get to do things the way I want to do them from the ground up. Literally. I’m in on the plans for our new locker rooms, weight rooms, building a stadium. I’m even helping to design the new uniforms.”
“We’re the only Division II school in the state of Florida,” Englehart said. “We’ve just joined the Gulf South Conference, the likes of Valdosta State, Delta State, North Alabama. The best Division II conference in the nation. Sixteen of the last 24 years, teams in this conference played in the [NCAA] national championship game … 10 times they were champions.”
Florida Tech is similar to Rose-Hulman, being an engineering school. But FT is much bigger, with an enrollment of about 7,000. They also have additional educational options such as business and sports management.
“I’ll be spending a lot of my time this year recruiting and raising money,” Englehart said. “We’ll wait to fill out our coaching staff after this football season, when more coaches will be available. Next fall, we’ll have about 80 to 90 players on the team.”
In 2012, Englehart says his team will conduct intrasquad scrimmages, play some exhibition games, possibly against junior colleges. Gaining experience for the big jump in 2013.
One person Englehart can rely on for assistance during this time of transition is former Rose coach Ted Karras. Karras, who hired Englehart to his staff, left Rose to start the football program at Marian University in Indianapolis.
“Ted has been a mentor to me,” Englehart said. “We’ve talked two or three times. I’ve asked him ‘what did you do’, just to get different ideas. This situation is very similar to him.”
Englehart knows his team will suffer growing pains at the outset, just as Karras’ did. Karras’ first team was 1-9, before three straight winning seasons followed leading into this season.
“I know there will be bumps in the road … freshmen and sophomores playing against experienced teams,” Englehart admitted. “But with smart scheduling, we can get better each year. The fact we’re the only Division II school in Florida is should get us some good players.”
Englehart feels the time is right to move out of his comfort zone in Terre Haute.
“I’ve lived in Terre Haute all my life, so I think it’s time to enlarge my territory,” he said. “I’m getting to go out and do something that most coaches don’t get to do … design and build a program from the ground up.”
Englehart has been in Florida for just two months, his two boys with him as he enrolled them in school.
“My wife is finishing things up selling our house in Terre Haute, packing as we speak,” Englehart said on the phone last week. “[Last] Friday, she’ll be down here for good.”
Englehart laughed when he mentioned enjoying the ocean breeze, with the school near the Atlantic Ocean.
“We’re just 30 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center,” he said. “Coming here to school, a big sell is location, location, location. Even if you’re in the center of campus, you can have your toes in the sand in less than five minutes … the beach is just over the causeway.”
Lou West, the former ISU head coach (2005-07) and Rose assistant coach (2008-10) — serving on the staffs of Englehart and Martin — has a new coaching gig this season. West is the new defensive coordinator at Garden City Community College, about 50 miles west of Dodge City, Kan.
West was fired at ISU in the midst of the 2007 season, leaving with just a 1-25 record. Last year, he was special teams coordinator and coached outside linebackers for the Engineers.
Prior to his time in Terre Haute, West had been on collegiate coaching staffs at Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Kent State, Cincinnati, Kansas, Western Michigan, Minnesota, Middle Tennessee State, Arizona and Toledo.
TERRE HAUTE —
- Indiana State University
Etherington, Moore happy to be with ISU basketball
Not even two weeks into their college experience, Indiana State freshmen men’s basketball players Alex Etherington and Demetrius Moore stood sentinel as 115 kids ran around them collecting basketballs and getting autographs at the Greg Lansing Basketball Camp on Thursday.
ISU's Johnson invited to World University Games
Indiana State senior Felisha Johnson will be traveling the world this summer after being named to represent the United States in the women’s shot put at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
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When I covered my first event of Indiana State’s 2012-13 season — ISU’s opening football game at Indiana — I was the first one in the press box at IU’s Memorial Stadium. I’m never the first one in the press box.
Maybe the prospect of ISU’s season had me so pumped that I decided to get it started close to three hours early? (Or more truthfully, maybe I was over-vigilent about predicted traffic horrors on the Indiana 46 bypass that never came to pass.)
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Time flies, but Sanford’s task of preparing for his first season in charge of the Sycamores comes with few breaks.
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The Terre Haute Rex table setters — Kyle Kempf and Tyler Wampler — had three of the team’s eight hits Friday at Bob Warn Field, but the Rex offense found itself in a big early deficit for the first time this season.
Manaea’s selection puts ISU in spotlight
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Indiana State senior Nicole Hope concluded her final competition of the 2013 outdoor season on Friday as she tied for 13th in the women’s pole vault at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
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ISU’s scheduled game at Minnesota in 2016.
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Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea selected 34th overall by the Kansas City Royals.
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ISU's Johnson, Wise compete at NCAA nationals
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Five of the six Indiana State athletes in Eugene, Ore., already have had some memorable track and field careers for the Sycamores.
But they’ll go ahead and try to add to their list of accomplishments in the NCAA outdoor championships this weekend.
Dustin Betz has been a scorer and key piece of eight Missouri Valley Conference championship teams between track and cross country. He’ll compete today in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Sycamores’ second best in the event behind Jordan Fife.
Mike Lucas joins ISU football staff
What traits do head football coaches seek out when they hire position coaches?
Indiana State football coach Mike Sanford provided insight into that question as he hired former Southeast Louisiana head coach Mike Lucas to his staff Tuesday. Lucas will be the Sycamores’ defensive line coach.
“You have to look at your staff and see what you need. I felt like in this particular case, I wanted an experienced defensive line coach. I feel like we have a mixture of experience and youth and I want to keep that going,” Sanford said.
Sycamores bow out of MVC Tournament
Indiana State’s baseball was out of pitching, and after a loss to Wichita State on Thursday, the Sycamores were out of second-chances too at the Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament. What the Sycamores weren’t out of was heart, guts and clutch performances from some unlikely sources. But in the end, Friday’s elimination game rematch against the Shockers was a sampling of ISU’s season overall — the Sycamores were out of luck.
Four Indiana State athletes advance to NCAA outdoor track and field championships
Three Indiana State seniors and a freshman have punched their tickets to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in two weeks at Eugene, Ore., with their Friday efforts in the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary at Aggie Stadium on the campus of North Carolina A&T.
ISU baseball hoping Manaea can get its MVC Tournament moving in right direction
Indiana State’s baseball team has been waiting all season for its stars to align.
But this is the 2013 Sycamores, after all, and after a season in which seemingly little has gone right, it appears its stars will remain crossed at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
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Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
Ort sets ISU RBI record in 16-7 win
Robby Ort celebrated his Indiana State baseball Senior Day on Saturday by becoming the Sycamores’ all-time leader in RBIs as ISU ended its regular season with a 16-7 win over Bradley at Bob Warn Field.
Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
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Build it… and they will come. The Missouri Valley Conference and Indiana State University made that famous line from the movie “Fields Of Dreams” reality Thursday.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
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If you had to pick one word that would describe the 2013 Indiana State baseball season, it would have to be frustration.
ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
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.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
Indiana State produced two champions during the opening day of action in the Missouri Valley Conference track and field championships Friday at Drake. Freshman John Mascari, a Terre Haute native, won the men’s 10,000-meter race and Nicole Hope won the women’s pole vault for the second time in three seasons.
ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
The Sycamores have filled in most of the blanks in their nonconference schedule, but as ever, ISU coach Greg Lansing would like to visit the friendly confines of Hulman Center a bit more often.
ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
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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- Etherington, Moore happy to be with ISU basketball