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
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Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
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No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
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It could have been just a mop-up role for Josh Dove on Sunday at Bob Warn Field, but the Indiana State relief pitcher wasn’t thinking that way.
ISU fans cheer their team from afar
Indiana State University basketball fans eagerly supported their team Sunday, even from a distance, as they watched the Sycamores battle in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game being played in St. Louis.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Odum, Smith, Arop recognized by MVC
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum doesn’t play baseball, but he did go 4-for-4 in his Sycamore career.
His 4-for-4 performance came in regards to his All-Missouri Valley Conference selections. Odum has been named to the all-MVC team in each of his four seasons, and for the second time in a year, Odum was named to the MVC’s first team.
Teammate Khristian Smith also received a major individual honor. Smith, a sophomore, earned the MVC’s Sixth Man Award. Senior Manny Arop also was named as an All-MVC honorable-mention selection.
ISU’s Odum earns first-team All-MVC honors
ST. LOUIS —Indiana State guard Jake Odum earned a spot on the 2014 All-Missouri Valley Conference first team, which was announced today as the Sycamores prepare for this week’s MVC men’s basketball tournament.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Senior Day Success
Indiana State shot just 35 percent from the field Sunday in Hulman Center compared with 46 percent for the visiting Bradley women, but that was almost a good thing.
ISU teams sweep titles in indoor track
Indiana State’s track teams swept the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships on Sunday at Northern Iowa, the men leading all the way and the women surviving a three-way battle.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
Red-hot ISU baseball wins eighth straight game
Indiana State broke away from a tight ballgame with four runs in the fifth inning and went on to post their eighth-straight victory of the 2014 campaign with a 10-3 triumph over New Orleans Saturday.
David Stagg (3-0) was the winning pitcher for the Sycamores as he went seven innings. He allowed two runs, scattered nine hits and struck out eight.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections