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Jeff Sokol holds Rose-Hulman’s career school record for winning percentage and led the Fightin’ Engineers to their first NCAA Division III playoff appearance in 2016.
Sokol helped the 2015-17 Rose-Hulman teams win eight games in three consecutive years for the first time since 1986-88. His efforts have helped Rose-Hulman earn two Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships (2013, 2016) and the program’s first NCAA Division III Football Playoff bid in 2016. The 2017 senior class graduated as the winningest class in school history, with a career record of 31-10.
In 2016, Rose-Hulman defeated a nationally ranked team for the first time since 1993, when the Fightin’ Engineers won 23-22 at No. 14 Franklin in October. The effort proved the tiebreaker for an NCAA Division III Playoff bid between this year’s conference co-championship teams.
The 2017 season featured eight more wins and accolades that included one All-American award (Mike Riley) and three Academic All-American honors (Matthew Murray, Alec Thompson, Garrett Wight). Rose-Hulman is ranked second among NCAA Division III institutions with 17 football Academic All-Americans since 2012.
Sokol has a career record of 53-28 (.654) for the best career winning percentage for a head football coach in Rose-Hulman history. He also has a mark of 47-17 (.734) in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
In 2013, Rose-Hulman won seven of eight conference games to earn a share of the conference championship. The Fightin' Engineers completed their largest in-game rally since 1988 by turning a 20-0 deficit into a 34-26 victory at Bluffton University.
The 2014 season featured one of the most memorable games in program history in a 7-3 campaign. Rose-Hulman defeated Illinois College 74-68 in triple overtime, with ESPN Sportscenter mentioning the game on television and to its nine million Twitter followers.
The 2015 season featured Rose-Hulman's first 6-0 start since 1987 and also marked the first time that the squad has received votes in both NCAA Division III football national polls.
Sokol came to Rose-Hulman after spending 11 seasons as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at the University of Chicago, a member of NCAA Division III and the University Athletic Association.
The Maroons captured UAA championships in 2000, 2005 and 2010, while recording three runner-up league finishes during his 11 years as coordinator under head coach Dick Maloney. Chicago established a modern era school record with eight wins in 2010, including victories over Case Western Reserve and Washington University to win the league title.
Prior to his Chicago experience, Sokol spent one season at fellow UAA member Case Western Reserve University as the recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach. He also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Defiance College and one year as wide receivers coach at Kalamazoo College.
Sokol earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Kalamazoo in 1996 and completed a master's degree in education from Defiance in 1999. He and his wife Alison are the parents of Walter (4) and Teddy (2) and reside in Terre Haute.