TERRE HAUTE —
From 2006 through 2009, Rose-Hulman’s football program posted four winning seasons with Steve Englehart as its head coach.
In 2010, after Englehart left to become offensive coordinator at Indiana State, Jayson Martin accepted the title of “interim head coach” and guided the Engineers to their fifth consecutive winning campaign at 6-4.
Now it is Jeff Sokol’s turn to keep the string alive.
Hired in January, Sokol had been offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at the University of Chicago for the previous 11 seasons.
In early June, he took a Rose team that consisted of last season’s seniors and returning players on an overseas trip to play the Austrian National Team. The Engineers emerged with a 35-34 exhibition triumph in Vienna.
“It was a lot of fun,” Sokol reflected before afternoon practice Tuesday. “Everyone had a great time. The parents and players and all the coaches who were there had a great time. We got to play a really competitive game against a really good Austrian National Team.”
“I think it was a real valuable experience,” noted Rose-Hulman junior running back Kyle Kovach, who led the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) in rushing last season with 1,056 yards.
“For me especially, it helped out a lot. I was able to come into [preseason training] camp now and teach [Sokol’s new offensive system] to guys who hadn’t learned it yet.”
Junior starting quarterback Mitch Snyder of Casey, Ill., said he appreciated “how much confidence we gained by beating a great Austria team, probably one of the biggest teams we’ll ever play against.”
“It was a very valuable experience for me to get a game coached under my belt,” Sokol pointed out. “We had a lot of situations that came up. We had to throw a Hail Mary [pass]. We had to do a quick kick. There were all kinds of crazy stuff that we ended up having to do.”
Sokol’s first preseason training camp debuted Aug. 15 and NCAA rules allowed the Engineers to begin two-a-day practices over the weekend.
“Everything has been really smooth,” Sokol emphasized. “The meat of our offense and defense is in. The players have picked up on what we’ve tried to install. Now we’re just trying to perfect and sharpen up our execution. We’re right on schedule and very happy with where we’re at right now.”
Rose players seemed to agree.
“I think everything definitely has been going smoothly,” Kovach mentioned. “Everything is on schedule. We’ve gotten a lot in. It’s a new coach coming in and teaching a lot of new things. Everybody’s catching on. We rose to the occasion… We’ve been catching on real well.”
“It’s been great,” Snyder echoed. “It’s been really smooth, as Kyle said. It’s been one of the best-run camps I’ve been a part of. Everything is on time. Everything is so organized. It’s been a great camp so far.”
Kovach and Snyder agreed that Sokol is easy to get along with, but hard-nosed when necessary.
“He’s a great guy,” Kovach said. “He’s down to earth. He can joke around with us, but at the same time he can get serious. He knows when that time to be serious is. He’s really good at balancing that out for us.”
“He’s fun to be around,” Snyder added. “But obviously his main job around here is to win football games. His main goal is to build a winning program. But he’s also a very down-to-earth guy and we enjoy being around him.”
Asked what his biggest challenge has been so far, Sokol struggled to find even one.
“The weather’s been great,” he said. “It’s been a little hot at times. But like I said, everything’s right on schedule. Everything’s going as planned.”
Sokol also has been pleased with the players’ reaction to him.
“For the players who are into it, who love football and want to be champions, it’s been great,” he stressed. “The response has been very positive.”
Regarding those who didn’t demonstrate the appropriate amount of dedication to the program, Sokol said they aren’t around anymore.
“They figured out pretty quick whether or not they could handle what we were doing,” he explained. “Now we feel like the guys who are here are the guys who are going to be a part of our football team for the long haul.”
On a personal level, the unmarried Sokol insisted that he hasn’t had to make any significant adjustments to the time schedule of being a collegiate head coach.
“We just make it work,” he said, referring to himself and the assistant coaches. “Everyone on the coaching staff does what they need to do. We work hard. The difference between when I was an assistant and being a head coach hasn’t been anything extraordinary.
“Everything just means a little bit more being a head coach because it’s ultimately your name that’s associated with every number on either side of that little dash [for totaling up wins and losses in a season]. So yeah, it’s been long hours. But everything’s been worth it. So far, everything’s been really gratifying.”
Sokol didn’t hesitate and didn’t stutter when asked about the Engineers’ 2011 goals.
“Our goals are to win the HCAC championship and go to the [NCAA Division III] national playoffs,” he stated.
Rose-Hulman’s first game will be Sept. 3 at home against DePauw.
“We will be more than ready,” Sokol promised.
TERRE HAUTE —
From 2006 through 2009, Rose-Hulman’s football program posted four winning seasons with Steve Englehart as its head coach.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
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.
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.
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.
Rose’s Strickland named HCAC MVP again, Shaw wins Coach of the Year
Rose-Hulman senior guard Julian Strickland has been named the 2013-2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and headlines the 12-member All-HCAC first and second teams for men’s basketball, according to an announcement from the league Tuesday.
It is the second straight HCAC MVP honor for Strickland, becoming the first player since Franklin’s Jason Sibley (1997-98 and 1998-99) to earn back-to-back MVP awards. Sibley was a graduate of Terre Haute South High School.
Metro roundup: Rose baseball loses 7-0 in Florida
Mount Union University remained unbeaten this baseball season with a 7-0 victory over Rose-Hulman in a rain-shortened game Tuesday.
Mount Union improved to 5-0 when the game was called after eight innings due to significant rain.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
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.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Rose coach expects wide-open race for HCAC title
Both Rose-Hulman basketball programs hope their teams will still be talked about in the Wabash Valley media after this weekend when they compete in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments.
Metro roundup: Hutson awarded USA Track and Field grant
Terre Haute native and 2016 Olympic hopeful Kylie Hutson was awarded a $7,000 grant from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
Rose coach still ‘hanging around’
Approaching the start of his 25th season as Rose-Hulman’s baseball coach, Jeff Jenkins remembers some of his 601 victories, most of his teams’ highlights from five NCAA Division III tournament appearances and pretty much all of Art Nehf Field’s significant upgrades. He also can count on one hand how many times that umpires have tossed him from a game — two.
Rose-Hulman men lose game, gain co-HCAC title
Despite a loss at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon, the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team earned a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and will host the semifinal and championship rounds of this week’s league tournament.
Mount St. Joseph improved to 16-8 overall and finished fourth in the league standings after a 69-57 victory. Rose completed its regular season with a 20-5 mark for the sixth 20-win season in its men’s basketball history.
Female Engineers climb into HCAC tourney with win at Mount St. Joseph
Led by 16 points from senior Kelsey Ploof, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team defeated Mount St. Joseph 58-51 in its regular-season finale Saturday to clinch the final spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
The Engineers (10-15, 8-10 HCAC) earned the sixth seed in the upcoming league tournament and will face Franklin in the quarterfinals Friday at tournament host Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman men clinch share of HCAC title
Rose-Hulman clinched at least a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship and will host the league tournament starting Feb. 28 after winning 71-69 at Franklin on Wednesday night.
Rose’s Alec Houpt hopes to make fifth Division III tournament appearance
Is Alec Houpt the good-luck charm for Rose-Hulman athletics?
Should his likeness appear on a box of Lucky Charms cereal?
Houpt admits he’s not a star in any sport, yet he’s been a member of four teams that have advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament. They were men’s soccer as a sophomore (2011) and senior (2013) and men’s basketball as a sophomore (2011-12) and junior (2012-13).
Streaking Engineers return to national poll
Rose-Hulman’s men’s basketball team has earned a national ranking for the first time this season, reaching the No. 24 spot in the d3hoops.com national top 25 poll released Monday.
Metro Roundup: Rose-Hulman's Montgomery wins HCAC award again
Rose-Hulman’s Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Week for the third time this season after a historic performance on Friday.
Shaw wins 300th for first-place Engineers
Rose-Hulman’s Jim Shaw became the second men's basketball coach in program history to win 300 career games as the Fightin' Engineers rallied to defeat Bluffton University 61-55 on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman outscored Bluffton 39-15 in the second half to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and improve to 19-4 on the season. The Engineers are also 14-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and maintain a one-game lead over Defiance in the conference standings. Rose-Hulman needs one win in its last two games to secure hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament.
Rose’s Jim Shaw nearing 300 victories
Rose-Hulman hits the road for Bluffton and a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup at 3 p.m. today.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman's Strickland earns national D-III honor
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been named to the d3hoops.com National Team of the Week for his efforts in last week’s two men’s basketball victories.
Strickland, other Rose seniors play final home game tonight
Rose-Hulman will play host to Hanover in Senior Night men’s basketball at 7:30 tonight in Hulbert Arena.
The Engineers lead Defiance by one game and Hanover by two in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings entering their final regular-season home game.
Metro roundup: Sycamores, UNI to be national ESPNU game
Indiana State’s final men’s home game of the college basketball season has been chosen for ESPNU’s 1 p.m. telecast on March 1. It’s Senior Day for the Sycamores.
Strickland erupts for 41 in Rose-Hulman victory
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland scored a career-high 41 points to help lift the Engineers past Manchester 85-65 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball Saturday afternoon.
Strickland recorded the eighth 40-point game in the history of Rose men’s basketball in the contest. His effort joins Don Ings (four times from 1967-70), Bryan Egli (twice in 1999) and Ed Downey (once in 1963-64) as 40-point games on the list.
Rose Hulman’s Schultheis repeats as Athlete of the Week
Rose-Hulman’s Austin Schultheis has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for a second consecutive time.
Sole possession of first place in HCAC belongs to Shaw’s Engineers
The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team took its first lead in more than 23 minutes with 1:23 left on the clock and then shut down the Defiance offense to clinch a 58-54 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers (14-4, 10-2 HCAC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference with the win over the Yellow Jackets (9-3, 14-5), who entered the contest tied with Rose.
Freshmen lead Rose women to HCAC victory
Sparked by breakout performances from a pair of freshmen, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team held on to defeat Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Defiance 69-59 Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Six-foot-2 forward Josie Schmidt was two shy of her career high with a game-high 17 points. She added five rebounds and a block in an 8-for-14 performance from the field. Classmate Abbie Marshall had one of her best games of the season, totaling a career-best 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with seven boards, five assists and four steals.
Rose, Defiance to battle for first place today
Rose-Hulman and Defiance will square off in a battle for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings at 3 p.m. today in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman needs OT to beat Anderson
Rose-Hulman men¹s basketball coach Jim Shaw did not need a reminder that you
can¹t always judge a team by its records. But he got one anyway.
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