After months of planning and a careful national search, Steve R. Englehart II is the man who will helm the Panthers’ new football program.
And he says he’s ready to go.
“I’m very excited to have this opportunity,” said Englehart, the former head football coach at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. “It’s a rare privilege to be invited to literally build a program from the ground up. The Panthers have a proud athletic tradition, and fielding football is the next logical step—working together, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish.”
Englehart’s successful leadership of Rose-Hulman’s Fightin’ Engineers—he had the highest winning percentage in school history—was only one accolade that caught the attention of Florida Tech leaders.
“I’m very impressed by Coach Englehart’s philosophy of coaching,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “He knows that our student-athletes are students first—and balancing success on the football field as well as in the classroom is key.”
“Coach Englehart understands that Florida Tech’s accent on student success is the primary focus,” added T. Dwayne McCay, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We’re confident that he can achieve on the football field while also helping our students to do well in their studies and become successful graduates.”
Englehart, who played quarterback at Indiana State University from 1996-99, went on to serve Rose-Hulman as assistant coach for quarterbacks and offensive coordinator before being named head coach in 2006. His all-time record there was 26-14, where he had the highest winning percentage in school history (.650). Since 2010, Englehart has served as offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
“He’s young, he’s progressive, he’s enthusiastic,” said John Thomas, Florida Tech director of football operations. “He’s a coach who is going to be carefully involved with his players on and off the field. He sees the importance of community involvement, he sees the importance of academics.”
In Englehart’s first year as an offensive coordinator at Indiana State University, he inherited an offense that set all-time lows. Over the course of the 2010 season, the Sycamore offense scored a school-record 351 points and 48 touchdowns, another program mark.
Indiana State averaged 411.8 yards of offense per game, good for fourth in the league and 17th nationally. Individually, Sycamore running back Darrius Gates averaged 10.6 points per game, which led the Missouri Valley Football Conference and was second in the nation.
“This is an exciting time for Florida Tech Athletics,” added Bill Jurgens, Florida Tech athletic director. “I’m equally excited for Coach Englehart who has the opportunity to build a football program at our university. I know he will do an excellent job.”
View the press conference here: http://www.fit.edu/football/