Stevenson University hires first head football coach to kick off division III program

Stevenson University announces the appointment of Ed Hottle as head coach of its new NCAA Division III football program.

Hottle has served as head football coach and assistant athletics director for Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., since July 2005, amassing a 22-16 record in the five seasons he has coached the Bison. He will now work to establish Stevenson’s program — first announced in June — by recruiting student athletes for a developmental season to start in fall 2010 with the plan of beginning intercollegiate competition in fall 2011.

“Ed is a significant addition to the Mustang athletics team,” said Paul Cantabene, associate director of athletics in charge of men’s sports. “He has demonstrated tremendous drive as a program-builder at Gallaudet. We are confident that he’ll lay a strong foundation for our program as well.”

Hottle is a graduate of Frostburg State University (FSU) where he earned his bachelor’s in physical education in 1999 and master’s in education in 2001. While at FSU, he began as a football intern with the Bobcats before advancing to defensive line coach (1999-2000). In 2001, he worked as the defensive coordinator/head strength and conditioning coach at Denison University, and from 2002 to 2004 served as linebackers/defensive line coach at Wesley College in Dover, Del., where he worked under Head Coach Mike Drass. Just prior to his tenure at Gallaudet, Hottle served as Head Coach at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, Md. He and his wife Ashley have three children and reside in Lothian, Md.

After two developmental seasons, Hottle led the Bison back into NCAA Division III status in 2007 as the team posted a 4-6 record with its toughest schedule in more than 15 years. That same season Hottle served as the defensive coordinator, with two players ranking nationally in various defensive categories for the first time in Gallaudet’s history. In 2009, he was selected by his peers as the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Coach of the Year.

Hottle describes himself as “a firm believer in the fundamentals, discipline, and positive attitude” while focusing on “relentless recruiting and retention.”

“Stevenson is giving me the opportunity to build a program from the ground up, and this is exactly the kind of challenge that motivates me,” he said. “The commitment to principles of Division III athletics here is very strong, and I am truly excited to become part of such a growing university.”

Over the past decade, Stevenson has built a new campus in Owings Mills and increased its undergraduate population to nearly 2,700 students. The University intends to grow that number to 4,000 and expects that the excitement and interest created by football will be key to attracting a greater number of students. The institution expects to recruit 40 to 50 students representing strong local and regional high school football talent for its fall 2010 developmental season and at least 40 additional students by fall 2011 for its first varsity season. Initial interest from high school students is already strong.

“Ever since we acquired the former Ravens facility for our Owings Mills campus, football seemed like an inevitability for us,” said Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., President of Stevenson University. “Our strong men’s and women’s programs add vibrancy to our institution and attract students from around the region. Football is a great fit and will draw regional players who want to continue at the university level.”

The University also plans to start a pep band to further drum up excitement at games.

“It seems like a strange coincidence that just 25 years ago, the Colts left the facility that will now be home to our football program,” Manning said. “You might say that the horses have come back to Owings Mills, this time as Mustangs.”

Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent university in Maryland with more than 3,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult accelerated degrees at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.