Jeff Jenkins enters his 30th year as head baseball coach at Rose-Hulman and serves as athletic director for the 17th year in 2018-19. The Fightin' Engineer baseball program has reached seven NCAA Division III Tournaments, won six conference tournament titles and claimed four league regular season championships in his era.
Jenkins has rewritten the Rose-Hulman single-season school record for victories in baseball five times, including a historic 2004 season for a team that won 36 games and the second consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Eastern Division baseball championship. He also became the 31st all-time and 16th active member of the career 700-win club in NCAA Division III baseball in 2015.
Jenkins led the 1992, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2016 squads to NCAA Division III Tournament appearances and also won the 1995 and 1996 Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournament titles. The Fightin' Engineers also won Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball tournaments in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2016. His efforts also include conference regular season championships in 1994, 1996, 2012 and 2016. Jenkins was named league Coach of the Year during three championship regular seasons.
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 University) to reach the championship round.
Jenkins, who owns the most wins and highest winning percentage in school history (.611), surpassed 700 victories during his Rose-Hulman career in 2017. His career record is 771-527-2, and his Rose-Hulman record is 726-462-1.
As associate athletic director for the decade prior to his promotion, Jenkins was one of several forces behind the college's move to coeducational athletics in 1995, construction of the Sports and Recreation Center, and the school's hosting roles in the NCAA III National Championships for women's basketball, golf and indoor track and field.
Rose-Hulman's baseball facilities have also improved dramatically under Jenkins' watch. His efforts helped the Engineers land the 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2013 NCAA Division III Mideast Baseball Regionals, which sent Wooster, Marietta, Adrian and Manchester into the Division III World Series. Lights were added to the facility in 2001, with new dugouts and a club-seat, press box structure completed in 2004.
Rose-Hulman also hosted the 1996, 2012 and 2016 Indiana Collegiate and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournaments after earning regular season league titles. In addition, Jenkins and the Fightin' Engineers hosted the 2003 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Prior to Jenkins' arrival on campus, the Engineers had recorded just one 20-win season. During his 27-year tenure, Rose-Hulman has recorded twenty-four 20-win campaigns and six 30-win seasons.
Rose-Hulman has also sent four players to minor league baseball under Jenkins. Pitchers Eric Tryon and Matt Sims continued their careers after completing their Fightin' Engineer careers, with Tryon reaching the AA level in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Tryon, 1999 graduate Andy Cain, 2008 graduate Michael Matsui and 2011 graduate Tim Tepe earned All-American honors under Jenkins' watch.
Derek Eitel became the first Rose-Hulman student-athlete selected in a professional sports draft with his 17th round selection from the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010. Keenan Long also enjoyed a strong career in the independent leagues after earning honorable mention All-American honors and graduating in 2010.
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.V.) 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.
Jenkins and his wife, Cindy, have two sons, Travis and Justin.