FORT WAYNE – Here is the dilemma in which Indiana Tech track and field coach Doug Edgar finds himself: Now that his men’s and women’s teams have won the NAIA outdoor track and field championships – the first national titles of any sport in school history – perhaps he’s earned additional leverage to persuade Tech to build a track of its own for future practices and meets.
Yet the obvious Catch-22 is if the Warriors won national championships in May without a home track, does the program really need one?
I would hope, Edgar said of obtaining a facility. It’s kind of up to the administration on what they’re prioritizing and where they’re looking at things.
The 2012-13 school year provided an unprecedented success in athletics for Indiana Tech.
Not only did Edgar’s men’s and women’s teams claim national titles May 25 (an accomplishment that earned him the NAIA coach of the year award for both teams), but Tech had five Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference titles, two WHAC tournament championships, a school-record 91 academic all-conference and 61 NAIA scholar-athlete citations, and a 16th place in the national NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.
When Martin Neuhoff arrived on campus in 1996 as the university’s women’s soccer coach, his was the sixth varsity sport.
As of 2014, the list of varsity athletic programs has grown to 25.
The Warriors announced June 15 they will begin men’s ice hockey in 2014. The Warriors will play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, in the men’s Division 3 classification.
With the hockey team expected to carry a 40-man roster, the number of student-athletes at Indiana Tech could increase to almost 800, which is nearly 16 percent of the estimated 5,000 enrollment given on the university’s website.
Although Neuhoff, now the school’s athletic director, would not divulge specifics regarding the athletics budget, he revealed that the athletic department spends an average of $3,240 for every student-athlete.
That’s to give them equipment. That includes everything – travel; we pay for this, we pay for that, we pay for officials, Neuhoff said.
With 746 athletes who fit that criteria at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, that would put the Indiana Tech athletics operating budget at $2,417,040.
We’re very stable; very stable, Neuhoff said. The athletics department has a budget, and we find that sufficient to take care of what we need.
Along with the two national outdoor track and field championships won this year, Tech also won WHAC tournament championships in baseball and women’s lacrosse.
Individually, track sprinter Adella King was the most decorated Tech athlete. She won national titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, was on the winning 400 relay team and was named the NAIA championships’ outstanding performer.
All without a home track to call her own.
I’d love to have one on campus, Edgar said. I think it would help us in recruiting. I think it would be great for the kids who really earned it and put the work in and traveled here, there and everywhere.
While there is an indoor track in the Schaefer Center, where the basketball and volleyball teams play, Edgar said the track teams have worked out at Carroll, Northrop, Snider, North Side and the track at the now-closed Elmhurst.
We were all over Fort Wayne every day, Edgar said. The (high school) ADs in Fort Wayne were a massive help.
Without those guys, I don’t think we’d have the program we have.