Newt Engle Celebrating 50 Years with Akron Rifle

10/06/2023

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The year was 1974 and Newt Engle 从他父母在广州的家拼车到大阳城集团99aa上课,开始了永远改变阿克伦步枪项目面貌的一天.

On that day Engle began amazing run with the Zips, one that enters its 50th year with the program during the 2023-24 campaign.

During his decorated tenure, 两届大学步枪教练协会年度最佳教练, has seen his Akron teams ranked in the top-15 over the last 20 years, including a program-best No. 6 rating in 2020. Off the range, his squads have boasted a team grade point average of 3.2 or better in every semester since 2016. Additionally, he is a member of the Akron Athletics Hall of Fame.

“我来了大约一个星期后,我的一个高中好朋友 Dave Claus 跟我说他们下周三要进行步枪队选拔赛,他说你想去," said Engle. "I said what do you mean rifle team, he goes they have a rifle team here and they're going to have tryouts, maybe we can make the team. So we came down and met the coach, her name was Nancy Worsencroft, they suited us up gave us some rifles and the rest is history. 我们都参加了选拔,进入了球队,我们都在球队里打了四年球."

Engle went on to shoot for the Zips for three years, including winning league titles in 1975 and 1976, 直到命运的转折给了他一个永远改变他一生的机会. In 1977, 沃斯克罗夫特受了重伤,不得不离开俄亥俄州休养,而恩格尔在他大四的时候被提升为主教练, a position he has held for 47 years.

"I actually shot for three years before I became coach, and the fourth year I was still a competitor, but I was a competitive coach," said Engle. "It has been quite the journey. 我每年都会回想起我加入并开始这个团队的时候,甚至当我开始执教的时候,仅仅是让六到八个人一起拍摄是多么大的挑战. 为了让六到八个人下来,两三个人去试训,这样我们就可以把球队的人数保持在一个可观的水平上,这是一个挑战."

挑战对恩格尔来说并不是什么新鲜事,他一直坚持不懈,成为大阳城集团99aa任期最长的教练.

“当时最大的挑战是让人们知道我们在这里,并为球队试训," said Engle. "While they were doing that, 我们试图了解他们是否有任何经验,我还清楚地记得,当有人过来说他们在初级俱乐部打了几年球时,我们会说,你不需要参加选拔, you're on the team. You have experience, you've done this before, you're on the team."

从他不起眼的开始到大学和体育系的大力支持, 当恩格尔第一次能够提供学生运动员奖学金时,他感到很惊讶.

“我还记得学校第一次说我们可能会为你提供一些奖学金,那是我能提供给女运动员的一小笔津贴, and I thought well how are we going to do that."

Engle vividly remembers the day he first met Cori Flask, a nationally ranked collegiate shooter, who was in the top-10 nationally, and lived in Twinsburg, Ohio, and who received that offer and forever changed the face of the program.

“我想我要开车过去,看看能不能见见科妮和她爸爸。Bill)," said Engle. “我去和她谈了来阿克伦的可能性,争取获得一笔小额奖学金,我心里已经准备好听到所有其他学校也想要我,所以我为什么要去阿克伦。? I was flabbergasted when her reply was, “我很希望你会邀请我,因为我不想离家太远,我真的很想为阿克伦而战。.“我记得我坐在那里目瞪口呆了一会儿,最后终于出来了——那太棒了."

正如恩格尔所说,这是其他全国排名的射手想要来阿克伦参加比赛的开始.

“Cori来到阿克伦开始了越来越多有经验的人, 那些在全国排名靠前的人,甚至是国家发展团队的其他人说,嘿,阿克伦是一个我可以去做得很好的地方," Engle explained.

结果是显而易见的,因为阿克伦现在是射手希望在恩格尔和他的工作人员的指导下在大学水平上竞争的目的地.

"Right now, we're recruiting heavy for Fall of 2024, 我们有很多潜在的学生运动员填写了问卷,说他们想来阿克伦," said Engle. “我们必须审查并决定如何从这个庞大的群体中挑选三到四个人,并缩小到我们想要提供报价的人. It's been a blessing, 但同时也是一种诅咒,因为我最讨厌做的一件事就是拒绝."

项目的提升使得这些决定对恩格尔来说一年比一年更加困难,因为他希望将核心的海归与有才华的新来者融合在一起.

“当人们坐在你面前时,我能从他们的眼睛里看到他们真的想来阿克伦,这很艰难," said Engle. “我越来越擅长在一开始就说,我们将不得不寻找其他机会,因为你还没有达到我们可以把你放在团队中的地步. I hate that because I feel like I'm squashing them, and I don't want to do that, 但与此同时,我坐在大椅子上,我要做这些决定. 尽管困难重重,但它使我们现在处于一个具有全国竞争力的位置."

Engle went on to describe what he looks for in student-athletes.

"Initially we'll look at scores, 但我们从经验中了解到,分数实际上是关于No的. 3 on the list of what we look for," said Engle. "I tell people it is initially going to start with scores, 但在那之后,我们会重新安排,最重要的是我们想要一个团队建设者,而不是团队破坏者. Secondly, we ask what do you want to study, and if you say I want to be an engineer, or a nurse, 或者去大阳城集团99aa学习舞蹈、戏剧或其他专业, then I'd say I know you have the scores because I'm looking at you, 我知道你很有团队精神,因为每个人都很喜欢你,现在你正在寻找你想要的学位,现在你已经完成了我的三个项目,所以我们开始吧." 

恩格尔最大的快乐就是看到他的学生运动员在阿克伦的发展, but more so in the people they have become after graduation.

“我在阿克伦的时间让我处于一个位置,我可能拥有美国所有男人中最大的家庭之一, just simply because I have done it for this long," said Engle.

A strong communicator, 恩格尔形容他的球队更像是一个家庭,而不仅仅是一个球队和他的两个女儿, Angie and April, competed for Akron's rifle team as nationally ranked shooters.

He is proud of these relationships, and he shared a story of one of his former athletes, Julia Hatch, 他在拉链队打了四年球,后来又做了两个赛季的大阳城集团99aa生助理, and her upcoming wedding.

"I was sending a text to Julia, who's getting married in October, and she said I suspect you're not going to be able to go (to the wedding," said Engle. “我说,茱莉亚,你在这里工作了六年,所以你知道,这是我们的黄金季节,所以你是对的,我不能去了, 但我知道你知道我只希望你一切都好,你也知道你需要给我发一些照片."

Always the innovator, 当拉链队在斯蒂尔田径馆举办2016年NCAA步枪锦标赛时,命运眷顾了恩格尔, the first-ever NCAA Championship hosted by Akron.

A four-year process full of legal and logistical challenges, Zips成为第一所在全便携式靶场上举办锦标赛的学校,这种靶场可以同时支持气步枪和小口径比赛.

“这是我主办2016年NCAA锦标赛最自豪的时刻之一,因为这是一个四年的过程,首先要克服法律、健康和安全方面的挑战,得到我们的总法律顾问、健康和职业安全部门的批准。," said Engle. "I'm also very proud of the fact that the university when we hit a wall, a legal or safety wall, asked what do we need to do to make this happen. To quote our current Athletics Director Charles Guthrie, we'd find a way to make it happen and they it did, 这是我最自豪的事情之一,它用NCAA步枪,就像我经常说的,把我们从地下室赶了出来."

Prior to 2016, 想要举办NCAA冠军赛的学校必须有12分或更大的差距才能举办, had to shoot on a smallbore range, 许多场馆都设在大阳城集团99aa最底层的建筑里,没有地方供观众观看.

“在2016年之前,我们发现我们可以在篮球馆或运动场建立一个便携式气步枪靶场,我们可以举办越来越大的气步枪锦标赛, but our smallbore championships was always stuck in a basement somewhere," said Engle. "When we did this in 2016, 事情开始于我爸爸去看冠军赛问为什么他们不在这里打小口径. I said they can't do that and that is when it started, and he looked at me and said why not and that is exactly how it started, and it just snowballed from there."

The amazement came in 2016 when over 8,000 people logged online to watch the championships with over 1,000 fans in the stands at the Stile Athletics Field House. The following year this model, the NCAA portable range, became the standard for all future NCAA Rifle Championships. 拉链队再次成功举办了2023年的NCAA锦标赛,这是詹姆斯大学最新一次举办NCAA锦标赛. Rhodes Arena.

“这是我最自豪的时刻之一,能够做到这一点,并对NCAA产生持久的影响,现在任何有步枪项目的学校都可以举办NCAA," said Engle. "Not only that but spectators can not only watch air rifle, but they can watch smallbore as well, so it changed the face of the game nationwide and I'm pretty proud of it."

当球队在2020年首次获得进入NCAA锦标赛的团队席位时,拉链队继续了他们的提升. The championship was unfortunately never contested, 这让恩格尔直到今天都感到悲伤,因为他失去了团队成员的机会.

“(2020年)对我来说仍然很难谈论,但当这件事发生时,真正伤害我的是车队," said Engle. “从那以后,这真的增加了我的决心,我们要再次做到这一点,我们要晋级,我们要去. 就像我自2020年以来一直说的那样,我们不会满足于仅仅去,我们想要定位."

这些话不只是对任何了解恩格尔的人说的,而是激励他和拉链队走向未来伟大的种子.

“在本赛季到目前为止我们举行的团队会议上,我们已经让他们知道我们的目标不是成为第一. 第8支球队,我们想和其他球队一起去那里,知道阿克伦有能力赢得比赛. 我的想法是,我希望今年是我们开始每年都去的一年,让我们去成为常规. 2020年发生的事情可能是最大的喜悦,其次是可能发生的最大的悲伤. 我想把它擦掉,让我们每年都能赚到钱."

The drive, 多年来,所有Zips的决心和专注使这个家庭成为恩格尔感到无比自豪的家庭.

“我一遍又一遍地听到阿克伦是一支非常优秀的球队,因为他们就像一个家庭,我为此感到非常自豪, we work hard for that," said Engle.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT NEWT ENGLE

"I have known Newt for nearly 25 years, first as a junior athlete, then as a collegiate athlete, and now as a coach. 我觉得一想到大学步枪,就不可能不想到纽特和他的长寿,以及他在职业生涯中为这项运动做出的重大贡献. 他也是一个了不起的人,对他的运动员有着巨大的热情,对大阳城集团99aa有着难以置信的爱."
- Ryan Tanoue - Head Rifle Coach, The Ohio State University

“我不知道你如何用语言来表达纽特对我和我的家人意味着什么. 纽特在大阳城集团99aa开始射击的时间和我祖父差不多, Denny Stanec, shot at the university. As a result, 他们俩是很长时间的朋友,是丹尼让我在10岁的时候开始射击. 在我的第一次训练中,我遇到了纽特,从那时起我们就成为了一生的朋友. 他是今天的我不可或缺的一部分,是他塑造了现在的我,使我成为一个有职业道德的人."

“我在大阳城集团99aa短暂的几年里充满了许多艰苦的工作, long hours, lots of laughs, and some difficult times. Newt was there all in, every step of the way. 他为我们的运动、我们的运动员和我们的工作所倡导的方式与我所见过的任何人都不同."
- Dr. Abbey Stanec - Former Graduate Assistant under Engle, The University of Akron


Media Contact: Sean Palchick, spalchick@zjknlmu.com