TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – After 32 seasons as head baseball coach and 19 years as athletic director, Jeff Jenkins has announced his retirement from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, effective Aug. 31.
Jenkins retires as athletic director after perhaps the most successful collective on-the-field season in Rose-Hulman Fightin’ Engineer history. The 20 varsity athletic teams combined to win 10 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships in the 2020-21 academic year, with three teams making appearances in the NCAA Division III Championships this spring.
Under Jenkins, the overall Rose-Hulman athletic department continues to rank among the nation’s best. The Fightin’ Engineers have won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Cup, signifying its status as the top overall athletic program on the field, eight times in the past 14 years. Rose-Hulman also ranks in the top 10 among all NCAA Division III colleges in number of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and has led the HCAC in academic all-league honorees for 14 consecutive years.
Rose-Hulman’s overall athletic facilities have also reached national prominence under Jenkins leadership. Recent donor funded upgrades include synthetic turf fields for football and soccer; significant additions to the baseball and track and field complexes; and keeping indoor facilities at a nationally recognized level that allowed Rose-Hulman to earn hosting rights for two basketball and two indoor track and field NCAA Division III National Championships.
On the baseball field, Jenkins retires as one of nine active coaches to cross the 800-win mark in his career. He ranks 21st in NCAA Division III baseball history with 825 career coaching wins, including 780 at Rose-Hulman. Prior to his arrival in Terre Haute, the Fightin’ Engineer baseball program had combined for less than 500 wins in 70-plus years of existence. His career record is 825-556-2, and his Rose-Hulman record is 780-489-1.
Jenkins led the 1992, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2016 squads to NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. He also won six conference tournament championships, four conference regular season championships and four league Coach of the Year awards.
The 2014 and 2016 squads also made the deepest NCAA Division III Tournament runs in program history, advancing to the Central Regional Championship Round. The 2014 team defeated No. 1 ranked Webster, No. 15 ranked Buena Vista and archrival DePauw. The 2016 squad defeated the three top seeds in the Regional (Wisconsin-Whitewater, Wartburg and Washington-St. Louis) to reach the championship round.
Jenkins started his coaching career at Heidelberg College in Ohio in 1987, inheriting a team that won only six games in the four previous seasons. He led Heidelberg to 15 wins in his first season and was named the Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1988. He coached at Bethany College (W.Va.) for one season before coming to Rose-Hulman.
The Urbana, Ohio, native and Ohio Northern University graduate chaired the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Committee from 1996-2001. That committee makes the selection of participants for the NCAA III Tournament.
Plans for filling these positions will be announced at a later date.