‘New Guy’ Englehart Suits Up – Wows, Inspires Players

By  //  October 30, 2014

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ran shorter triple option attack for defense

ENGLEHART-STEVE-580-12

Steve Englehart garnered some oohs and aahs from his players, particularly when dropping a pass perfectly in stride to his receiver for what would have been a touchdown. If you had replaced his black jersey and gray helmet and pants with matching royal blue gear it would have been hard to tell the difference between him and the quarterback leading the Indiana State offense a decade and a half ago. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – If you would have visited the Varsity Training Center and joined the Panther football team to watch practice on Wednesday, you may have thought to yourself “who is this new quarterback playing for the scout team offense?”

You also may have thought “boy, the new guy has got a pretty nice arm!”

Well, that “new guy” isn’t really new at all. In fact, he’s been with the program from its infancy. The signal caller who was replicating the triple option offense employed by Saturday’s opponent, Shorter, was none other than Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart.

It was definitely a different experience for all parties involved and the Panther players seemed to really enjoy the moment.

Steve Englehart

Steve Englehart

“It was fun,” said Englehart. “It was less about me having the opportunity to do that than a motivational tactic for our guys. I knew it would kind of light a fire under them a little bit and get some good energy going. Also, I thought that I could really help our defense with recognizing what Shorter’s offense does because I played in that system for so long.”

Like he says, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Englehart ran the triple option attack effectively. He did, after all, command the exact same offense for four years at his alma mater, Indiana State. Englehart, hailing from the Hoosier State, played quarterback for the Sycamores from 1996-99.

Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart has his Panthers at 5-3 thus far this season, and will take on Shorter this Saturday in Rome, Georgia. (Florida Tech image)

Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart has his Panthers at 5-3 thus far this season, and will take on Shorter this Saturday in Rome, Georgia. (Florida Tech image)

If you didn’t know any better, you probably wouldn’t have even known that the scout team QB was many years older than the guys he was playing for and against.

The Panther head coach was running through his progressions quickly, dropping dimes and tossing frozen ropes all over the field situated behind the VTC.

Englehart was even garnering some oohs and aahs from his players, particularly when dropping a pass perfectly in stride to his receiver for what would have been a touchdown.

If you had replaced his black jersey and gray helmet and pants with matching royal blue gear it would have been hard to tell the difference between him and the quarterback leading the Indiana State offense a decade and a half ago.

“It was exactly like riding a bike. All the footwork and all that stuff was second nature to me. Obviously, I did it quite a bit slower than what I did 15 years ago. One thing I proved is that you definitely get slower with age,” Englehart joked.

“It was exactly like riding a bike. All the footwork and all that stuff was second nature to me. Obviously, I did it quite a bit slower than what I did 15 years ago. One thing I proved is that you definitely get slower with age,” Englehart joked.

The question now becomes how well the FIT coach will recover from the day’s events.

“Not bad at all,” said Englehart on how he feels the next day. “A little tight and a little bit sore at times but it’s really not that bad. I’m sure it’s always worse the second day.”

PANTHERS TAKE ON SHORTER IN GEORGIA SATURDAY

With a daunting eight-hour bus ride to Georgia ahead of the Panthers, it’s a safe bet that he’s hoping that isn’t the case.

Trailing 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter on Saturday, the Panthers (2-5, 1-3 GSC) scored three unanswered touchdowns in just over nine minutes to win their first Gulf South Conference game 28-24 over Shorter (0-7, 0-4 GSC) at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium. (Amanda Stratford  Image)

LAST SEASON, trailing 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter, the Panthers scored three unanswered touchdowns in just over nine minutes to win their first-ever Gulf South Conference game 28-24 over Shorter at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium. (Amanda Stratford Image)

FIT will depart from the VTC at 7 a.m. ET to make its way to the Peach State. The Panthers will take on the Hawks and their triple option offense on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Barron Stadium in Rome.

Saturday’s contest can be heard on the Panthers’ new Official Radio Partner WFIT 89.5 FM. Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will start Saturday’s broadcast with a pregame show at 11:30 a.m.

The broadcast can also be heard at WFIT.org and through the free TuneIn Radio app.

Links to live video, audio and stats will be available at FloridaTechSports.com.

Fans can keep up with Florida Tech Football by following the team’s social media accounts on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FLTechFootball, on Instagram athttp://instagram.com/FloridaTechFootball and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FloridaTechFootball.

Tickets are available for the Panthers’ lone remaining home game on Nov. 15 versus Valdosta State at FloridaTechSports.com, by stopping by the Clemente Center Ticket Office Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by calling 321-674-6228.


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