This past Saturday Chad Martinovich celebrated his first opening win as the football head coach at MIT, as the Engineers defeated Becker College 21-13. Despite a few kinks early on in the skirmish, MIT dominated the game in statistics, racking up 343 offensive yards to the Hawks’ 175. The Engineers’ ground attack, led by Marcel B. Sanchez ’12, rushed for 252 yards and three touchdowns, Both the offense and defense played soundly. With a new attitude surrounding the team, MIT football may be back on the path to respectability after a disappointing one-win season last fall.
The first major change came after Dwight Smith, the Engineers’ coach of 30 years, recently retired. A new leader for the team, Coach Martinovich, was hired, whose vision was to transform the MIT team into a competitive Division III program that the Institute can take pride in. Since his arrival, many changes took place on the team, most noticeably the new method of finding new players. Instead of just working with whatever players that decided to show up for the team, this year the coaching staff actively recruited players from across the country. This effort resulted in a freshman class of 26, the largest in the history of the school. In comparison, the previous class had only eleven.
Additionally, the serious attitude of the coaches and administrative staff toward football has prompted a similar response from the players. An offseason program, complete with sprinting and lifting workouts, was implemented this year for the first time. Players attend meetings, similar to recitations, with coaches to learn plays, assignments, and techniques. The in-season strength program is more structured and organized than in previous years. All of these changes have yielded a unit that is in better shape, more mentally prepared, and cohesive than ever before. The hope is that the new attitude and efforts will pay dividends in the rest of the upcoming season.