After serving Hiram College in a career that spanned more than three decades, long-time coach Howard Jenter has announced that he will be retiring from coaching with the conclusion of the 2018 season.
"On behalf of the Hiram College Athletic Department we would like to wish Howard all the best in his retirement," commented Director of Athletics Ellen Dempsey. "In a career which spanned more than 30 years, Howard has proudly worn many hats for the institution; starting with student, Resident Assistant, and coach to many sports, in true Hiram form Howard has been asked to fill many roles over his career and has generously accepted all opportunities, none more proudly than serving as our head baseball coach for the past 27 seasons."
As much of an institution in the Hiram coaching realm as the late Bill Hollinger (the namesake of the Hiram Hall of Fame) or Bill Proverbs, themselves, Coach Jenter leaves behind him a three-decade legacy of service to Terrier Nation and all of its student-athletes.
Jenter first arrived on Hiram's campus as an undergraduate student in the fall of 1981 and quickly made his mark on the playing surface. As a two-sport athlete, Jenter competed with both the Terrier baseball and football teams.
On the gridiron, Jenter became a starter at free safety during the 1982 season, helping the Terriers to a Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship. In four seasons, Hiram amassed 18 wins, one of the top four-year spans of any era. During that time, Jenter was also named an All-PAC selection.
In baseball, Jenter was a three-year starter for head coach Bill Proverbs. He twice earned All-PAC honors, starting in the outfield as a sophomore before taking over as the everyday shortstop in both his junior and senior seasons.
Although his four seasons as an undergraduate student were good, it was his dedication and success following college that will always be remembered in the annals of Hiram history.
Immediately following graduation, Jenter went to work on a Hiram coaching career that spanned 32 seasons. In that time, he coached five different sports and had a range of success throughout each program.
Starting as an assistant coach, Howard worked with the Hiram football program for 19 seasons, spanning three head coaches, including Joe Malmisur and Don Charlton (Hiram's top-two winningest head coaches) as well as Bobby Thomas. Additionally, he served for two seasons as the head coach for the Terrier track & field program after the passing of former coach Bill Donaldson.
Along with the track team, Jenter served as a head coach for two other programs, including the Hiram women's basketball program, and the Terrier softball team.
Like a few of his other jobs, Jenter was thrust into the head coaching position of the Terrier women's hoops team following a leave of absence by the head coach. Not only did Jenter take on that responsibility head on, while also achieving his Master's degree from Kent State, but he did so with success.
Coach Jenter served as the women's basketball coach for four more seasons (spanning from 1985-86 to 1990-91) and still holds the all-time record for career wins.
During his tenure, Jenter coached 12 all-conference honorees and had a hand in coaching three of the seven members of Hiram's 1,000 points club. In addition, due to his recruiting efforts, Hiram landed its' all-time leading scorer in Angie Horner (1,620).
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Jenter also served as Hiram's head softball coach during both the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He posted a winning record in his two years at the helm, lifting the Terriers to a 14-6 mark in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.
Getting the most out of his athletes in his two years, Jenter coached four players to First-Team All-PAC honors, finishing his softball coaching career with a 30-29 record.
Despite all of his accolades in those sports, Jenter found his true calling in the fall of 1991, when he took over the reins of the Terrier baseball program from long-time coach, Bill Proverbs.
In his tenure, Coach Jenter became Hiram's all-time winningest coach by more than 60 games, despite coaching five less seasons than his predecessor.
He coached 62 all-conference honorees, including eight first-team selections, 16 second-team laurels and 38 honorable mention honors. His players and teams currently account for 64 records in the Terrier history books.
No matter the decade in which he coached, Jenter was able to get the best out of his athletes.
In the 90s, as a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference, Coach Jenter led 14 players to all-conference honors, including back-to-back First-Team All-OAC selection, Mike Dobran. Dobran still holds the career record for batting average, having hit .405 in four seasons under Jenter.
The first half of the new century saw the Terriers post four 20-win seasons after joining the North Coast Athletic Conference. Jenter's squads collected 27 wins in 2000 (a school record), 20 in 2001, 21 in 2003 and 20 more in '04.
Since joining the NCAC in 2000, Jenter has coached 48 players to All-NCAC selections, including five first-teamers.
In 2015, Jenter coached Jaren Bell to a Cosida Academic All-American selection, and as recent as two seasons ago, saw freshman Hank Clegg garner North Coast Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year honors.
Jenter goes into retirement with the third-longest coaching tenure with a single team in Terrier history. Hollinger coached the men's basketball team for 32 seasons. Proverbs, the baseball team for 31; and Jenter most recently finished his 27th at the helm of the program.
Despite all of the accolades, the legacy left by Jenter will be that of a humble man who spent his adult life giving back to those that gave to him at Hiram College.
"Coach Jenter has been a part of the fabric of Hiram College Athletics," commented Dempsey. "His experience, dedication, wisdom and contributions to our baseball program, athletic department and campus community are greatly appreciated. He will be missed."