TERRE HAUTE —
Nine-ninety-eight … 999 … 1,000 … 1,001 … 1,002 … and counting.
The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball program reached the 1,000-victory plateau in a 71-42 win at Fontbonne University earlier this month. For the record, entering Wednesday’s home game vs. Manchester, the win total stands at 1,002.
The program’s been in existence since 1897 — peach basket days? — so at first glance, one might think 1,000 wins in their 114th season is not that much to crow about.
From 1897-1962, the team didn’t play nearly as many games, averaging under 15 games a season. That doesn’t count not fielding a team for 10 seasons. Heck, they were still playing on a dirt floor in venerable Shook Fieldhouse as recently as the 1963-64 season.
Yet the program holds a distinction during its early days by defeating 14 current NCAA Division I programs. The Engineers handed the University of Kentucky its fifth worst defeat in history, 52-11, in 1910.
A large percentage of the 1,000 wins has occurred in the past 48 years, “the modern times.” Head coaches John Mutchner (1963-88) and Shaw (1989-95, assistant coach; 1994-present, head coach) have been involved in 654 of the 673 victories in that timespan.
Their programs have won nine conference championships and appeared in eight NCAA Division III tournaments.
Mutchner and Shaw shared recollections of their time with the Engineers’ program:
John Mutchner (340 wins)
Mutchner, now 77, admitted he almost didn’t come to Rose in his initial interview process.
“I thought at the time, this is a job graveyard. I can’t win here,” he laughed. “The first interview ended as a mutual decision this was not a good for fit for either of us. [Rose] just had to change it’s athletic culture.”
But a few weeks later, Mutchner was contacted again.
“John Logan [school president] wanted to talk to me,” Mutchner recalled. “We hit it off right away. I told him ‘we absolutely had to recruit or you’re not going to be successful. Athletics have to be supported.’ [Logan] agreed.”
Mutchner stated that Logan and the next school president, Sam Hulbert, “understood the role of athletics at the school.”
The Engineers played in Shook Fieldhouse (1949-1997) during his tenure, which was located where the parking lot where the current Sports and Recreation Center is now.
“We had the dirt floor my first year, but the administration allowed us to make changes and put in a Tartan floor,” he recalled.
Crowds were not large for games when he started coaching, so he literally introduced “bells and whistles” long before the term became popular to enliven the fan experience.
Mutchner made good use of two bells, two police sirens, two submarine crash-dive Klaxons, and a cannon.
When all the noise created reached a crescendo with the firing of the cannon, a 40-foot banner would drop from the ceiling, proclaiming “Give ‘em Hell Rose.” Then the pep band would launch into a rousing version of the school fight song.
“We needed to drum up enthusiasm, so we kind of went to false enthusiasm,” he said.
Mutchner recalled one episode with the cannon, saying, “For one of our bigger rivals, I put in about twice as much powder. Jim Rendel, who was intramural director at the time, had an office at the fieldhouse. When the cannon was set off, the sound reverberated so much, it blew 20 or 30 sheets of papers off his bulletin board. It was raining paper in his office.”
Once the team started to win, “that false enthusiasm turned into genuine enthusiasm,” Mutchner said.
Mutchner also set in motion Rose teams traveling abroad to play basketball at least once every four years. Rose has the distinction of being the first college team to play in the Soviet Union, “back when they were still flying the hammer and sickle flag,” Mutchner noted.
Mutchner enjoyed 10 straight winning seasons heading into the 80’s. After a couple losing seasons, his final team won 17 games.
“I’ve had a lot of good players, but more important, a lot of outstanding people,” Mutchner noted. “I still talk to a lot of my former players. Many of them have done very well for themselves in the business world.”
252 wins, 72 wins as assistant
One year after Mutchner retired in 1988, Shaw was brought in as an assistant to current DePauw coach Bill Fenlon. Shaw assisted Fenlon for two years, three years under Bill Perkins, before assuming the head coaching position in 1994.
“It’s a tribute to a lot of players, a lot of coaches, a lot of administrators who’ve made it possible for us to win a 1,000 games,” Shaw said.
Shaw has coached in both Shook Fieldhouse and the new 2,000-seat Hulbert Arena.
“My first seven years here I was in Shook, and I loved Shook,” Shaw stated. “I love where we’re now due to the creature comforts, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a better environment for a small college basketball game than Shook.”
Shaw said the last regular-season game, against rival Wabash, at Shook Fieldhouse was a highlight of his career.
“It was definitely the loudest. It was packed,” he recalled. “There were people on all sides of the court. The Wabash fans were there banging their pots and pans, our students banging wooden blocks. The consequences were high because the league championship was on the line. It was a special, special day.”
“With all the bells and whistles that came with it and all the blemishes that came with it, it was a unique environment. I was here when we opened in this place and it’s one of the better venues in small college basketball. Obviously, I have a lot of good memories here too.”
Shaw’s seen highs and lows in his coaching tenure. Fielding three teams in the NCAA DIII tournament, and also seen his teams endure six losing seasons in a row.
But his team’s fortunes are enjoying an uptick once again, going 16-10 last year and winning five of six games for a promising start this season.
“Athletic participation is as good a learning tool as anything they will ever do in their lives,” he said. “Not only is it memorable, enjoyable, a great stress relief, but the lessons they learn playing are healthy ones and I think they get as much out of their experience playing college basketball as anything else they do.
“That being said, I’m fully aware and supportive of the fact that their academic goals are the primary reason they are here and has to remain the No. 1 focus, without question.”
School began piling up victories in 19th century
TERRE HAUTE —
Nine-ninety-eight … 999 … 1,000 … 1,001 … 1,002 … and counting.
Young gun: Freshman Belyea leads Engineers to second straight victory over Saint Mary-of-the Woods
Freshman women’s college basketball players sparked Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and Rose-Hulman on Wednesday in Hulbert Arena. Playing her first major minutes of the season, Rose-Hulman guard Kristen Belyea was the clutch shooter for the Engineers. In the second half, Belyea knocked down 4 of 6 from the field and 2 of 3 from the 3-point arc to help the Engineers earn a second straight victory in the rivalry with a 74-54 decision.
Strickland leads RHIT men to win
Rose-Hulman opened its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball season with a 66-50 victory at Anderson University on Wednesday.
Metro: Boys county title games set for tonight
A pair of championship games in the Vigo County middle school boys basketball tournament will be played today in West Vigo High School’s main gym. At 6 p.m., Woodrow Wilson will take on Sarah Scott for the sixth-grade title. Then at about 7:30, Wilson and Honey Creek will tangle for the seventh-grade crown.
Red-hot Strickland leads Engineers past Wabash 77-68
Julian Strickland tied his career-high point total with 31 Monday night — his third consecutive 30-point game this season — as host Rose-Hulman downed Wabash 77-68 in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman women fall short to Marian
A clutch 3-pointer and free throws down the stretch sealed the home victory for Marian University in Saturday’s competitive 50-45 nonconference victory over the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team.
Strickland pours in 30, but the Engineers fall in home opener
Carroll University withstood a last-minute challenge by Rose-Hulman to earn a 67-64 men’s basketball victory in the Engineers’ home opener Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Rose men’s soccer ends best season ever in Sweet 16 loss
The best season in Rose-Hulman men’s soccer history came to an end Saturday night with a 3-0 loss to Franklin & Marshall in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Strickland leads Rose over Chicago in men's basketball
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland fired in a career-high 31 points to lead the Engineers past the University of Chicago 85-80 in men’s college basketball Saturday night.
Strickland finished 11 of 19 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line with eight rebounds and five assists to lead the performance. He previously scored 30 points in the 2012 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title game victory over Transylvania that launched the Engineers into the NCAA tournament.
Rose's dream soccer season ends with 3-0 loss to Franklin & Marshall
The best season in Rose-Hulman men’s soccer history came to an end with a 3-0 loss to Franklin & Marshall in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Franklin and Marshall standout Ben Beaver scored once in each half to provide the offense, and goalkeeper T.J. White recorded a shutout to lead the defensive effort for the Diplomats.
Rose-Hulman men's basketball to begin 20th season under Shaw
Armed with one of the top NCAA Division III players in the nation in senior Julian Strickland, the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team will begin its 20th straight season under the guidance of coach Jim Shaw tonight at Washington (St. Louis) University.
Tipoff for the Lopata Classic first-round matchup is slated for 9 o’clock EST.
“They’re one of the top [Division III] teams in the country,” Shaw said of the Bears’ program commonly known as Wash. U. “They’re really good every year and they’ll be really good this year.”
Rose-Hulman’s Montgomery seeking All-American in Division III
Rose-Hulman has a cross country runner in the NCAA Division III championships for the sixth time in the history of the men’s or women’s programs.
Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery is the second woman to qualify for the Engineers. The Lafayette, La., native will race for All-America status Saturday at Hanover in the women’s 6K race.
Rose-Hulman's Hong honored by NCAA Division III
Rose-Hulman freshman Ellie Hong has been named the Collegeswimming.com NCAA Division III Women’s Swimmer of the Week.
In a dual meet against Franklin, she broke the school record in the 100 freestyle (54.18 seconds) by nearly a second and won the 100 backstroke in 59.13.
Rose-Hulman’s Smyser is still embracing clutch goal
When sophomore Mike Smyser guided the ball into the net during the opening minutes of the Rose-Hulman men’s soccer match against undefeated, NCAA Division III No. 1-ranked Ohio Wesleyan on Sunday in Delaware, Ohio, he had no idea it would be the only goal of a hard-fought match.
Rose soccer scores biggest win in its history, ousting No. 1 in Division III tourney
Mike Smyser scored in the first five minutes Sunday, and the Rose-Hulman defense took care of the rest as the Engineers upset top-ranked, unbeaten Ohio Wesleyan 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Division III men’s soccer tournament.
METRO/PREP ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman football seeks first conference title since 1988
Rose-Hulman looks to earn its first football conference championship since 1988 in Saturday’s Battle of the Borders Broadsword matchup at Earlham. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman men's soccer advances to title game
Rose-Hulman advanced to the championship game of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament with a 3-0 victory over Hanover College on Tuesday night.
The second-seeded FEngineers will host Transylvania University, who upset No. 1 seed Earlham College earlier Tuesday. Transylvania and Earlham played to a 1-1 draw, before Transylvania advanced with a 4-2 victory in penalty kicks.
No. 12 Franklin visits Rose in HCAC showdown
Missing one of its best players, Rose-Hulman’s football team will play host to NCAA Division III No. 12-ranked Franklin in a matchup of the last two undefeated teams in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action at 1:30 p.m. today at Cook Stadium.
Rose men’s basketball team 20th in preseason rankings
DIII News has ranked Rose-Hulman at No. 20 nationally in its preseason men’s basketball poll and senior Julian Strickland earned “Top 24” honors from the organization Wednesday.
Rose-Hulman adds six to its Athletic Hall of Fame
Matt Smith and Andrew Schipper hadn’t seen each other in about 10 years until they crossed paths Saturday.
This wasn’t a surprise meeting because they knew they were reuniting for a common reason.
Both 2003 Rose-Hulman graduates were among six new inductees going into the engineering institute’s Athletic Hall of Fame over the weekend.
Despite firing off 36 shots, Rose-Hulman and Woods soccer teams battle to 0-0 tie
There was good reason to believe the Rose-Hulman and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods women’s soccer teams were an even match before they took the field Tuesday afternoon.
The Engineers entered at 4-2-3 and the host Pomeroys were 3-3.
Well, after 110 minutes — 90 minutes of regulation play and two 10-minute overtimes — proof exists that the teams are truly equal.
They played to a scoreless tie.
Rose-Hulman pulls out homecoming victory with huge third quarter
In the first, second and fourth quarters of Saturday afternoon’s homecoming game at Cook Stadium, the Rose-Hulman offense played like the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, frequently plodding through three-and-outs and fumbling away the football.
Thankfully for the Engineers and their enthusiastic supporters, the Rose offense more closely resembled the Denver Broncos in the third quarter, exploding for three touchdowns that were desperately needed to secure a 23-19 triumph over Defiance in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both squads.
Rose-Hulman women’s soccer shuts out Greenville
Rose-Hulman scored once in the first half and twice in the second to earn a 3-0 shutout victory over Greenville College in women's soccer action on Wednesday at the Intramural Field.
Senior Rachel Johnstone put the Engineers on the board in the 34th minute, on a breakaway goal started by an assist from junior Haley O’Neil.
Rose-Hulman football drops opener at Kalamazoo
Big plays in the second half proved to be too much to overcome for the Rose-Hulman football team, as the Engineers fell on the road to Kalamazoo 28-23 on Saturday at Angell Field.
Quarterback Ryan Landwehr led the Rose-Hulman offense, completing 19 of 34 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the Engineers’ top rusher, finishing with 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Short move: New R-H coach didn’t even have to leave home to take ‘attractive deal’
In the case of many college coaches, when they leave one school to take a job at another, they have to pack up their belongings and move to a new home. Not so with Geoff Wayton, who left Indiana State to become head coach for the NCAA Division III Rose-Hulman men’s and women’s cross country team and an assistant to Larry Cole for its men’s and women’s track and field program. Wayton’s hiring was announced Aug. 12.
Hannahs adds Ronnie Prettyman to ISU baseball staff
Indiana State baseball coach Mitch Hannahs has announced that Ronnie Prettyman will join his staff as an assistant coach, starting with the 2013-2014 season.
METRO RONUDUP: Rose-Hulman picked 5th in HCAC football poll
The Rose-Hulman football has been selected to finish fifth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released Wednesday.
Rose-Hulman swimmers flying to nationals
Rose-Hulman swimmers John Craig Huster and Orion Martin have qualified for the Division III national meet in the 100 butterfly
Despite four NCAA Division III titles, Rose-Hulman’s Liz Evans remains as driven as ever
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.
Ultra-competitive athletes find ways.
Balsbaugh’s late-season scoring giving Rose-Hulman a lift
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.
- More Rose-Hulman Headlines
- Young gun: Freshman Belyea leads Engineers to second straight victory over Saint Mary-of-the Woods