The new PC football coach looks like a good fit.

Presbyterian College has had three head football coaches in the past year: a Tommy, a Kevin and a Steve.

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Tommy Spangler is a perfect Tommy. He might even define a Tommy in my mind. Kevin Kelley is far less unassuming than most Kevins. If I were making Kelley a character in a novel, I’d name him something like Tyrone Power or Rand McNally. He is a man who aspires to greatness against all odds.

They’re distinct men. Englehart, the latest to take up the mantel of the battlin’ Blue Hose, is one fine Steve. He’s a stare-you-straight-in-the-eyes, forthright man who was born to coach the great game of football.

Here’s the kicker. I like them all. I hate what PC did to Spangler, a most loyal of men to have been treated so shoddily. I watched what happened in the autumn-long version of Long Day’s Journey into Night with Kelley and hated that my job is to write what I see. I saw everything inexorably falling apart. There is a twinkling star of greatness in Kelley, who needed a sun.

I met Englehart for the 1st time on Tuesday.

PC played poker conservatively and reliably with Spangler. Kelley tried to bluff his way holding a pair of jacks. Englehart isn’t ready to be dealt in until he takes a good look at who’s sitting around the table.


Steve Englehart

The new coach is arriving about where Spangler left, but without much talent. Now he’s hiring a staff. He’s doing his best to get players to stick with him. An advantage is the college. A lot of young men, who have been bounced around like lottery balls playing football, like the school. They want a football team with the stability they see in the college itself. All they know is the stability of an unfortunate mix of volatile chemicals.

Englehart has been to PC once before. In 2016, his Florida Tech team defeated the Harold Nichols-coached Blue Hose 28-7 at Bailey Memorial Stadium. He said the school caught his eye.

“Coach Spangler (at that time the defensive coordinator) always put a tough defense on the field, one that was hard to score points on,” he recalled. “We got a couple lucky breaks at the end of the 1st half that put us ahead.”

That day the Panthers scored on plays of 1, 39, 82 and 83 yards. The last was an interception return.

Of PC, he said, “I thought they always had a tough, hard-nosed football team. It seemed like a good place with nice facilities. Since 2016, I’ve kind of had my eye on this place. After a couple applications, one of them finally went through. I talked to Rob (Acunto, the athletics director) and the president (Dr. Matthew vandenBerg) and I thought it was a good fit.

“I like building programs. I did it at Rose-Hulman (Terre Haute, Ind., Englehart’s hometown). I did it at Florida Tech. I built that team attitude and camaraderie. That’s the way I felt talking with the players last night for the 1st time, and I thought it went really great. I told them we’re not going to get to the football stuff now. First we’ve got to get our house in order.”

It’s a tough job, but I think Englehart is the man. I’ve been wrong before, and I can’t believe these words are flowing from my fingers: PC has finally gotten it right. I’m mindful that these words aren’t going to disappear as long as there is a web that is worldwide.

I write what I see. Every day. Right now this is what I see.

Many years ago, when Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show, boards were posted when the show went to commercials.

More to Come!

Undoubtedly. Indubitably. Forever and ever, amen.

Back in 1982, the late, great Furman Bisher closed an Atlanta Journal-Constitution column, while the Braves were blowing a big lead in a disastrous homestand, this way.

The Braves may come back, he wrote, “but there will be a snowcap on Kennesaw Mountain before anybody around here believes in a baseball team again.”

That’s what Englehart faces. By the way, in 1982, the Braves did come back and win the division.

Hope springs eternal.