Steve Englehart: Builds Florida Tech Panthers Into Gulf South Conference Power From Scratch
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Assistant Editor // May 2, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Steve Englehart – 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
2017 SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE
• Architect of Panther Football
• Gulf South Coach of the Year
• Took FIT To NCAA Playoffs
WELL-PLANNED BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Building anything successfully from the ground floor up requires a lot of teamwork, time, work ethic and patience.
Nothing embodies those characteristic more than the Florida Tech Football program and the people that helped make the Panthers an on field reality and quick success in the standings.
From former school President Anthony J. Catanese, to John Thomas, to 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee Steve Englehart, Florida Tech football is a blue print on how to develop and build a successful NCAA football program.
Hired in June 2011, 14 months after the Board of Trustees endorsed action items that would allow the dream to become a reality on the field, Coach Englehart arrived from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where he was the youngest college head coach in the country at just 27 years old in 2006.
At Rose-Hulman, Englehart compiled a four-year mark of 26-14, the most successful four-season stint in the school’s history at that time.
While sports are important at FIT, academics take precedent and Englehart could certainly guide his new and future players in that manor based on his own college success.
Englehart played quarterback at Indiana State from 1996-99, earning letters in 1997, 1998, and 1999. He was named to the Gateway Football Conference’s All-Academic Team in 1998 and 1999 and was also named a GTE Scholar Athlete three times.
The test for Englehart at FIT was a task few in coaching have ever accepted and executed successfully as quickly as he has. Once he accepted the position as head coach at FIT, there were still nearly two years before his team, which didn’t exist, could take the field and play.
However, during that time span, Englehart, along with his staff had to execute the first of many successful game plans, which did not include a run or a pass but instead required hours on the road recruiting and fundraising.
Long days and even longer nights produced great recruits and the money needed. Once the Panthers got the chance to take the field in 2013, the results were more than anyone could have hoped for as Florida Tech finished their first year 5-7, and their inaugural season would be the last time the Panthers finished under .500.
In 2014, Englehart’s Panthers went 6-4 and shocked the college football world with their first-ever win over a ranked opponent. The Panthers defeated No. 12 Tarleton State, 37-31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Coach Englehart’s hard work resulted in his recognition by the Gulf South Conference as Co-Coach of the Year.
The 2015 season would be even better as the Panthers arrived as a Gulf South Conference power, finished the season 7-4 and had a chance to win the conference championship in the final game of the season. The Gulf South Conference would again recognize Englehart, but this time he stood alone as coach of the year.
WINNER ON THE FIELD AND IN LIFE
Like a well-oiled machine built to get better as time passes, the Panthers entered 2016 season with high expectations and Coach Englehart’s team would not disappoint, as Florida Tech finished the season 8-2 with five wins in conference play.
Their record earned them the programs first ever trip to the NCAA D2 playoffs, and although the Panthers came up short, the future moving into 2017 is as bright as ever.
Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Coach Englehart comes from a great family of love and support. When asked about his earlier years, Coach Englehart very fondly speaks of his parents, Steve and Debbie, and his brother Chad and sister Leslie.
But what makes the Steve Englehart story complete is his wife and children. Englehart and his wife and high school sweetheart Carrie, are the proud parents of three beautiful children – two boys, Caden, 16, and Ty, 13, and daughter Lila, who is 6.
Coach Englehart’s blueprint for success continues to be a work in progress, but as he enters his fifth year walking the sidelines at Florida Tech Panther Stadium, one thing is for sure, success breeds success and Steve Englehart has been nothing but that in his life, and during his tenure at Florida Tech.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced, Induction Ceremony Set May 12
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced Thursday an impressive array of outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2017 Class of the Hall of Fame.
Dozens of nominees were considered for the 2017 class in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Special honorary recognition will also be bestowed upon individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and has so far inducted more than 100 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, Assistant Editor Alan Zlotorzynski, local youth sports advocate and promoter Mike Cadore, Friday Night Locker Room Founders Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, former Health First COO Larry Garrison, Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight and AAU Vice President Rusty Buchanan.
“The list of inductees for 2017 induction include athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time,” said Tom Palermo.
INDUCTION GALA & SPORTS AWARDS SET FOR MAY 12
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Sports Awards will be held Friday, May 12 at the Cocoa Beach County Club.
The festivities include a meet and greet with the area’s sports royalty, dinner and the induction proceeding which includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the 2017 High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, are sponsored by Community Credit Union, First Choice Medical Group, SOAR, Clear Choice Health Care, BioCellular Therapies, Savings Safari, Spectrum Sports, Friday Night Locker Room, Dr. Sangiv Patel, Dr. Mark Pinsky and Rock Paper Simple..
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, or to make a reservation, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Joe Kohlbrand, Football; and Cory Philpot, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jason Arnold, Baseball; Michael Coffey, Bowling; Reggie Hannah, Basketball; Paige Kearns, Swimming; and Charles Wilson, Football.
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Kristen Gordon, Softball; Ray Herring, Jr. Football; Katie Jackson, Soccer; and Hunter Pingston, Football.
• AMATEUR/REC CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Richard Chapman, Little League; Todd Erickson, Softball; Al Genchi, Youth Soccer; and David Kilgore, Running.
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Skip Arrich, Soccer; Tom Dooley, Baseball; Chuck Keener, Tennis; Steve Lamontagne, Golf; and Mike Soliven, Basketball.
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEES: Jeff Carr, Eastern Florida State College; and Steve Englehart, Florida Tech.
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEES: Linda Anderson, Athletic Director; and Les Stafford, Volunteer
• SPORTS OFFICIALS INDUCTEES: Neely Dunn and Bob Walton.
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Hillard Grossman.
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE : Gary Gregory, PAL Boxing.
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics – Coach Cindy Dropeski, Athlete Chuck Conway and Volunteer Kathi Madden.
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: Cocoa High School 2016 Football State Champions.
• SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Jim Grimes, Basketball, Eastern Florida State College
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME