TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State’s football program broke the shackles of losing under former coach Trent Miles.
New football coach Mike Sanford, who was introduced to the ISU community at a press conference on Monday, wants to kick the door down and take the Sycamores to the next step — to be champions.
“It involves being a champion of the conference and being national champion. It’s about how you do things daily. How hard you work, practice, go to class and take care of business. My expectation is to live every day as champions,” said Sanford in his first comments to the ISU faithful in Dede I at ISU’s Hulman Memorial Union Building. “Every decision that I make and that our players and coaches make will be based on winning a championship.”
Sanford, 57, was announced as ISU’s 24th head coach on Friday, but his responsibilities as Utah State’s offensive coordinator prevented him from coming to Terre Haute until today. The Aggies played in Saturday’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Toledo in Boise, Idaho. Utah State pummeled Toledo 41-15 in the bowl game.
Sanford doesn’t just want to build on Miles’ football success, he wants to continue Miles’ success in being involved with the ISU and Terre Haute community.
“Trent went to school here and knew a lot of people. I don’t in any way think I can surpass the relationships he had because of his background, but we want to be a part of this thing and throw ourselves all in,” said Sanford, who gave Miles credit for building ISU’s program from one of the nation’s worst to one of the MVFC’s winning programs.
Sanford — who played at USC in the mid-1970s under both John McKay and John Robinson — has been coaching since 1978. He’s made stops at 12 different schools — including Purdue (1987-88) and Notre Dame (1997-98).
He was head coach at UNLV from 2005-09 and compiled a 16-43 record at a school that has often struggled in football. The Runnin’ Rebels had five-win seasons in Sanford’s last two years there, an improvement from the two-win seasons that had taken place in the time when Sanford arrived.
Aside from his time at UNLV, Sanford has coached on the offensive side of the ball for his entire career. He coached wide receivers at Southern California when future NFL regulars Curtis Conway, Johnnie Morton and Keyshawn Johnson starred for the Trojans. He was at Utah as offensive coordinator when Alex Smith was groomed to be the NFL’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005. Sanford said he intends to run a multiple-style offense at ISU. He had said in a Friday interview that he preferred to run a 3-4 defense.
Those qualities appealed to ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman, but Sanford’s character was just as important.
“We’re proud to have Coach Sanford. He has outstanding background and experience, but he’s also a man of integrity and has a strong work ethic. He has a terrific family, he’s strong in his faith and he loves to win. These are all great qualities for our leaders in our football program,” Prettyman said.
Prettyman said that Sanford will have a five-year contract, but terms of the contract are still to be negotiated. Prettyman said Sanford’s budget for assistant coaches will be “similar and will play it by ear as it comes along.”
Sanford was joined by wife, Melinda, at the press conference. Sanford has two grown children — daughter Lindsay and son Mike Jr.
Mike Sanford Jr. is the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Stanford. Sanford Sr. will attend his son’s Rose Bowl contest on Jan. 1 as the Cardinal play Wisconsin.
“I’ll be at the game and I’ll be talking to some coaches in California that will be tied in with that,” said Sanford, who said that his son once accompanied him on the field at the Rose Bowl when USC played in the game.
Sanford said he enjoys spending time with his family and plays golf when his football duties don’t intervene.
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State’s football program broke the shackles of losing under former coach Trent Miles.
- Indiana State University
Moore, Samuels won't return to ISU basketball team
Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing continues to re-calibrate the Sycamores as they prepare for the 2014-15 season.
Lansing said Thursday that forward Demetrius Moore and center Mike Samuels will not return to the program next season.
ISU Blue-White Game is Friday
The spring game at the Football Championship Series level is a bit different than it is for the Football Bowl Series programs.
Unlike FBS, FCS teams like Indiana State can continue to recruit junior college and Division I transfers after their spring practice is over. It means the dynamic of the FCS spring game is different than the finality it has at the FBS level.
Clamping down: Pitching, defense lift ISU to third straight victory
Indiana State’s baseball trip to Victory Field on Wednesday to face Butler turned into a virtuoso performance in pitching and defense.
Metro roundup: Rose swimmer honored as CCIW’s best
Rose-Hulman sophomore Orion Martin of Dublin, Ohio, has been named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Male Swimmer of the Year for the second consecutive year, according to voting by league coaches.
ISU baseball improves to 26-12 with 10-3 victory over Purdue
As its 21st-place ranking in unofficial NCAA baseball RPI lists attest, Indiana State’s baseball team has done a lot right this season.
It’s been a surprising season, but one thing the Sycamores haven’t done is to put together a big early lead and ride out the wave.
On Tuesday against struggling Purdue, ISU finally added an early big inning to its list of accomplishments.
Til it's over: Grand memories usher in a new era for ISU track
John McNichols won his first Missouri Valley Conference championship in outdoor track at Indiana State’s Marks Field back in 1988. He’s gone on to win eight more — in addition to his two indoor track and eight cross country crowns. In 2016, McNichols will have a chance to add that outdoor title total on the site of a brand new facility — proposed to be named Gibson Track and Field by ISU President Dan Bradley.
Metro roundup: ISU trails by 4 with 18 holes left
Indiana State is four shots out of the lead and McCall Christopher five shots from the individual lead after the second of three rounds of the Missouri Valley Conference golf championships was completed Monday at Panther Creek Country Club.
Sycamores dig down to beat Canisius, avoid sweep
Indiana State took control late in the game and avoided being swept in a weekend college baseball series for the first time this season as it defeated Canisius 8-4 Sunday.
ISU baseball drops second straight
Indiana State’s baseball team rallied late in the game but could not get in front as the Canisius Golden Griffins held off the Sycamores 5-4 Saturday.
ISU (24-12) will look to avoid being swept for the first time this season at noon EDT today when it plays the series finale against Canisius (22-13).
Driving to victory
College golf, Indiana State coach Greg Towne indicated Monday afternoon, is all about the process.
ISU losing Ragland to Bowling Green St.
David Ragland was the first person Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing hired to his staff when he became the Sycamores’ head coach in 2010.
FROM THE PRESSBOX: In Lance the Pacers trust? Why not?
The trials and tribulations of the Indiana Pacers are well documented.
Sycamores just one shot behind in tourney on familiar turf
Lack of experience in playing a collegiate women’s golf tournament in their own backyard may not be a hindrance for Indiana State, which finds itself one shot out of the lead — and with room to do better — after Sunday’s first round of the Indiana State Spring Invitational at the Country Club of Terre Haute.
ISU pushes run across in 9th to beat SIU — again
Indiana State scored in the ninth inning for a second game in a row Sunday, breaking a tie to defeat host Southern Illinois and win a closely contested Missouri Valley Conference baseball series.
Indiana State falls to No. 23-ranked IU 8-4 in baseball
Indiana State’s baseball team tried to walk a double tightrope this week.
The degree of difficulty was cranked up significantly as the Sycamores played back-to-back games at Vanderbilt and Indiana, both top 25 teams.
ISU baseball falls to Vanderbilt 6-2
The seventh-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores took control early to defeat the Indiana State Sycamores 6-2
ISU baseball is deadly with two outs
One of the many charms of baseball is that there are a thousand different debates about a thousand different topics one can embroil themselves in. One of the most passionate is whether clutch hitting exists.
ISU dusts off its broom
Wichita State’s baseball program has been the bellwether of the Missouri Valley Conference for more than a quarter-century. And 2014 is no different. When a team has success against the Shockers, picked to win the league in the preseason coaches’ poll, it still has cachet.
Prusator gives ISU a shooter for 2015
Grant Prusator, a native of Rochelle, Ill., has made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Indiana State starting in the 2014-15 season. He will have three years of eligibility with the Sycamores as he played just one year for Highland Community College.
Metro sports: Locks of Love tournament today at Memorial Stadium
The Indiana State Women’s Soccer team will host its annual Locks of Love tournament today. The 4th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Laramie to transfer from ISU women's basketball program
Indiana State forward Marina Laramie averaged 9.9 points and started all 32 games as a sophomore for the Sycamores.
But the 6-foot-2 women’s basketball player will continue her career elsewhere.
Metro sports: ISU blanks Austin Peay in 6-plus innings
Indiana State’s baseball team posted another mid-week victory Wednesday night as four pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout and lead a 3-0 victory over Austin Peay State at Bob Warn Field.
Chicago guard commits to ISU women's basketball
The Indiana State women’s basketball team picked up a verbal commitment from Chicago guard Kiera Brooks on Tuesday.
The 5-foot-7 junior for North Lawndale College Prep visited ISU’s campus for the first time, met the team and chose her college home. Brooks averaged 18.7 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for coach Corey Morgan’s 15-11 squad.
Metro sports: ISU’s Stone, Riemenschneider honored by MVC
Indiana State junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honors, according to an announcement from the league office Monday.
Bad day for Sycamores
Indiana State’s baseball team has had more good days than bad so far this season.
Sunday, however, was bad in every way.
Going the distance: Redbirds ace Savas allows just five hits while shutting down Sycamores
Indiana State’s pitchers weren’t their best in Friday’s series opener against Illinois State, but it seemed the Sycamores might get away with it. Through seven innings, ISU had issued six walks, gave up six hits and hit a batter, but still trailed by just a run. But ISU’s luck with its generosity would give out in the eighth, and even if it hadn’t, Illinois State standout starter Dan Savas had the Sycamores’ bats in a deep freeze anyway. The Redbirds defeated the Sycamores 5-2 at Bob Warn Field.
‘A full night’: Leadoff hitter Curry leads 16-hit attack as Sycamores pound Hoosiers
Lead-off man Landon Curry had four of Indiana State’s 16 hits Wednesday afternoon, and cleanup hitter Mike Fitzgerald reached for the 17th straight game to lead the Sycamores to a 12-8 victory.
ISU committed to making Tonyan a key contributor
Indiana State’s 1-11 2013 football season was nightmarish in many ways, but one player who had to endure it with eyes more wide open than most was Robert Tonyan Jr.
Thrust into a much larger role than anticipated at quarterback when Mike Perish was injured in early October, and with injuries occurring all around him as well, the then-redshirt freshman struggled behind center.
Fresh start: ISU football team springs into action for coach Sanford’s second season
Many things change from year one to year two in someone’s coaching regime, but when it comes to football, few things change more dramatically in that span than spring football practice.
Aces ride leadoff success to series win over ISU
The leadoff bullets were flying around at Evansville’s Charles Braun Stadium as Indiana State and Evansville locked up in a Missouri Valley Conference baseball series decider on Sunday.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- Moore, Samuels won't return to ISU basketball team