Charles A. "Rip" Engle
Year Inducted: 1972
Charles a. “Rip” Engle rates with Edward North Robinson and Tuss McLaughry as one of Brown’s most successful and popular football coaches. A Western Maryland product who learned his football under Dick Harlow, Engle served as an assistant at Brown to Skip Stahley before taking over as head coach in 1944. He immediately installed his version of the explosive Wing-T offense and achieved something that first year that no Brown team had been able to do since 1928 – best Colgate and its coach, Andy Kerr. Engle’s final two years at Brown were his best. His 1948 team was 7-2, followed by the “8 for 9 in ‘49” group. Both teams were dominated by a cocky group of gung-ho veterans who loved the game of football. There teams had everything – depth, size, speed, an imaginative offense (they averaged nearly 30 points a game), tight defense, and superb coaching. There was a spirit among the players of the Engle era that hadn’t been seen on College Hill since the days of the Iron Men. These Rip Engle players knew they were good and they played with the verve and drive of a confident crew. The Bears needed all their confidence in their final game under Engle. Trailing Colgate, 26-7, late in the third period of the 1949 Thanksgiving Day game, Brown practically blew the Red Raiders out of the stadium in the final 17 minutes in rallying for a 41-26 victory. When the soft-spoken Engle left, the Brown community lost a gentleman and a friend as well as a football coach. His six-year record was 28-20-4. Coaching at Penn State for the next 16 years against some of the nation’s best, Engle had a 111-47-4 record, including a 9-1 season in 1962 and an 8- mark in 1959. What’s more, Rip Engle, in his last 19 years of coaching, never experienced a losing season.