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Florida Tech eliminates its football program due to COVID-19



Trent Chmelik of the Florida Tech Panthers (Photo courtesy Florida Tech Athletics)

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Institute of Technology has decided to eliminate its football program.

“As I have continued to share with you, these are difficult times for our university,” Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay said in a press release Monday. “Indeed, all of higher education is struggling to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty that accompanies a global disruption to daily life. Some universities will no doubt close. Florida Tech, however, has plans to persevere.”

The cancellation of the school’s football program leaves 120 student athletes at loose ends, and eight football coaches at the university affected by the decision will be searching for employment elsewhere.

The program began in 2013 and achieved a 44-35 record under head coach Steve Englehart. The Panthers have advanced to the Division II playoffs twice, in 2016 and 2018.

In what is now its final year as a football program, the team started out 3-1 on the year this past season but lost five-straight games after that on their way to finishing 5-6.

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