TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology football program has finalized its coaching staff for the upcoming 2017 season, following the team's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship and NCAA Division III Playoff appearance in 2016.
Head coach Jeff Sokol enters his seventh year on the Rose-Hulman sideline. Sokol has a career record of 40-21 (.656) for the best career winning percentage for a head football coach in Rose-Hulman history. He also has a mark of 35-13 (.729) in HCAC play. Under his direction, the Fightin' Engineers captured HCAC championships in 2013 and 2016.
Brian White begins his seventh year on the coaching staff and his sixth as Rose-Hulman offensive coordinator. White also serves as the team's recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach. His efforts have helped Rose-Hulman's offense set more than 50 school records since 2014, including three performances of 70 or more points in a game.
Nick Davis begins his sixth season on the Rose-Hulman coaching staff and his third as the team's defensive coordinator. Davis also coaches the linebackers and serves as the squad's strength and conditioning coach. His spread defense concept has helped the Fightin' Engineers lead the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in total defense in 2015 and scoring defense in 2016.
The team's success over the past six seasons has led the Fightin' Engineers to complete the 2017 coaching staff with four program newcomers.
DJ Bland will coach defensive backs after spending the 2016 season as the cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. His efforts helped the St. Nortbert defense finish fifth in turnover margin and 11th in pass interceptions in NCAA Division III football last season.
Matt Evans will coach running backs and tight ends after spending the last two seasons coaching NCAA Division II football in Ohio. He spent the 2016 season at Walsh University in Ohio, serving as the running backs and assistant wide receiver coach. In 2015, Evans served on the coaching staff at Ohio Domincan University for a program that finished 11-2 overall.
Eric Lantz will coach wide receivers after spending the past two seasons at Miami University in Ohio, serving as an intern specializing in the team's passing game. He assisted with quarterbacks during the 2016 seasons and gained experience coaching wide receivers and tight ends in 2015-16.
Ahmad Smith will coach the defensive line after most recently serving as assistant coach and academic support services graduate assistant at Indiana State University. He coached defensive backs and was responsible for creating scouting reports for the Sycamore defensive unit. Smith also assisted with on-campus recruiting and coordinating the scout team offense and special teams.
Rose-Hulman expects a program record of over 130 players to report to the team's training camp in mid-August. The Fightin' Engineers finished 8-3 overall last season and earned its first NCAA Division III Playoff appearance in 117 years of program history. The 2017 season begins with a trip to Illinois College on Sept. 2.