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 —
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Even though Rose-Hulman senior Liz Evans has won four NCAA Division III titles in the women’s high jump, getting motivated is still easy for her.
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If someone were to predict before last weekend that Rose-Hulman would capture its second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in men’s basketball and that senior Brenton Balsbaugh would be named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, fans probably would believe the first statement but consider the second as wishful thinking.
Rose-Hulman baseball team kicking off season in Florida
Jeff Jenkins is serious about his baseball.
Rose-Hulman men clinch conference title
Rose-Hulman will host the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament and claimed the league’s regular-season title with a 59-57 win at Hanover College on Saturday.
No. 23 Rose-Hulman takes down No. 22 Transylvania on the road
No. 23 ranked Rose-Hulman claimed a two-game lead in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings with a 54-49 victory at No. 22 Transylvania University on Saturday.
Rose-Hulman 18-2 after pulling away from Anderson
Rose-Hulman opened the second half on a 20-3 run to pull away and earn a convincing 71-40 men’s basketball victory at Anderson University on Wednesday night.
Freshman paces Engineer women to HCAC win
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team improved to 10-10 for the season and 6-7 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 52-44 win over Anderson on Wednesday in Hulbert Arena.
Rose men top Franklin
Rose-Hulman improved to 14-2 overall and kept its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference lead at 8-1 with a 58-42 men's basketball victory at Franklin College on Wednesday night.
Rose men run winning steak to 11 games
Anderson arrived in Terre Haute with a 7-6 record and a scoring average of 76.5 points per game.
Anderson holds off rally by Rose women
Rose-Hulman rallied from an 11-point deficit to close within three points late, but Anderson University held on to earn a 64-57 victory in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball Wednesday night inside O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.
Rose-Hulman men ranked 26th in Division III
Rose-Hulman’s men’s basketball team is ranked 26th nationally in the d3hoops.com national weekly poll released on Thursday.
Gerken hits game-winner to put Rose-Hulman at 9-1 on season
Making the game-winning shot, with what turned out to be seven-tenths of a second to go, was probably the easy part for Jon Gerken on Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Rose women struggle from field in loss to Hanover
In the Rose-Hulman women’s college basketball game, frigid shooting undermined good work the Engineers did in other aspects of the game against Hanover.
The Engineers came out on the wrong end, 55-43.
Efficient Engineers stifle Millikin
The word that probably best describes the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team is efficiency.
Rose-Hulman women's basketball regains Clabber Girl Trophy
Rose-Hulman reclaimed the Clabber Girl Trophy for the first time since 2009 with an 80-74 women’s basketball victory over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on Tuesday night in Hulbert Arena.
Balanced Rose tops Fontbonne
Senior forward Nate Gissentanner came off the bench to deliver 14 points for balanced Rose-Hulman in a 72-54 men’s basketball victory over Fontbonne University on Wednesday night in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman men's basketball preview: Engineers looking to follow up last year’s success
It’s pretty safe to say that expectations for the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team have not been this high since the late 1990s when the Engineers reached the NCAA Division III tournament three times within a four-year period.
Rose-Hulman women's basketball preview: Engineers continuing to improve
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team didn’t dominate many opponents last season when it ended up with records of 9-18 overall and 6-12 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Earlham tragedy leads to Rose football cancellation
Little did Rose-Hulman’s football players and coaches know, their 42-8 home victory over Anderson University last Saturday turned out to be their final game of the season.
This weekend's Rose-Hulman vs. Earlham football game canceled
Due to Friday's tragic events involving three Earlham College students, the football game between Earlham and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been canceled.
Anderson squeaks past Rose-Hulman
Anderson University scored in the 11th minute and held off a Rose-Hulman charge to earn a 1-0 men's soccer victory in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinal match on Wednesday night at the Engineer Intramural Field.
Rose swimmers near top because of vets, youth
Rose-Hulman swimming depth is at an all-time high, putting the Engineers at No. 15 in the NCAA Division III national rankings.
A bigger taste?
On the night of Oct. 14, Rose-Hulman basketball fans were treated to something described by a couple of men’s players as “spectacular” and “epic” when they all jammed into Hulbert Arena for the insititute’s first “Midnight Madness” to tip off a season.
The memorable site wasn’t a 360-degree dunk or a no-look, behind-the-back pass.
It was Rose men’s coach Jim Shaw performing the “Bernie Dance,” based on the deceased character from the 1989 movie “Weekend At Bernie’s.”
“For a second, I thought he was having a seizure,” senior starting guard Austin Weatherford said with a straight face later.
Rose women picked for 6th
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, according to a preseason poll of league coaches released Tuesday.
Hanover and Franklin were selected for first and second respectively, with just two poll points separating the two squads.
Rose-Hulman no match for Franklin
Franklin showcased its No. 23 NCAA Division III ranking from d3football.com in a 56-0 victory over Rose-Hulman in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football Saturday.
Rose blanks Woods 3-0 in women’s soccer
Rose-Hulman women’s soccer coach Amy Helliwell is riding a youth movement to what she hopes could produce a strong turnaround in this 2012 season.
It has so far.
Led by freshman Hayley Gilliam, a Zionsville native, the Engineers improved to 5-4-1 for the season with a dominant 3-0 victory against cross-county rival St. Mary-of-the-Woods College on Wednesday at Jim Rendel Field.
METRO ROUNDUP: Engineers dominate HCAC honors
Rose-Hulman Institute student-athletes earned three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards, in results released by the league office on Monday.
West Vigo graduate John Burt was named HCAC Defensive Player of the Week and Eric Schaible the Special Teams Player of the Week in football, and B.J. Thompson earned Player of the Week honors in men’s soccer.
Snyder throws for two early TDs in Rose-Hulman victory
Rose-Hulman scored 33 points in the middle two quarters and held off a Defiance rally to earn a 33-20 victory in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football opener for both schools Saturday.
Rose’s record setter
Kyle Kovach got off to a great start in Rose-Hulman’s football season opener Saturday night in what turned out to be a heartbreaking 29-28 home loss to Kalamazoo College at Cook Stadium.
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