New Jersey Institute of Technology introduced Jim Engles as its new head men's basketball coach in a press conference on April 10, 2008.
Engles, 39, who agreed to a five-year contract to become head coach of the Highlanders, has been an assistant coach at the Division I level for 18 years, the last five as the lead assistant at Columbia.
A 1990 graduate of Dickinson College, where he was a three-year letterwinner, Engles jumped into coaching at the Division I level in 1991 as a graduate assistant at Wagner College on his native Staten Island, NY.
He became full-time at Wagner under head coach Tim Capstraw and remained with the Seahawks through the 1996-97 season, when he moved on to Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Engles stayed at Rider from 1997 to 2003, serving as the top assistant under head coach Don Harnum, who is now Director of Athletics at the school. Engles moved on to Columbia, where he joined the new staff under head coach Joe Jones in 2003-04.
Universally respected and liked in the coaching community, Engles was involved in noteworthy turnarounds at two of his stops--Wagner and Columbia, while maintaining a high level at Rider.
At Wagner, he was part of the best winning percentage turnaround in all of Division I basketball, as the Seahawks went from four wins in 1990-91 to 16 wins in 1991-92, his first season as a full-time coach. A year later, Wagner played for the Northeast Conference championship on national television and won a school-record 18 games.
At Columbia, he was part of a new staff that achieved instant results upon its arrival in 2003-04. The previous season, Columbia was 2-25 overall and winless in 14 Ivy League games. In Engles' first season, the Lions produced a 10-17 overall record, including a 6-8 mark in the Ivy League for the second-best turnaround in Ivy League history.
In 2006-07, Columbia posted a 16-12 record, the program's best in 15 years. In 2007-08, the Lions were 14-15 overall, plus 7-7 in the Ivy for a second straight year, matching the program's best league record since it was 10-4 in 1992-93.
His six-year run at Rider included the 2001-02 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title with a 13-5 conference record and Rider's first-ever berth in the postseason National Invitation Tournament (1998 after an 18-win regular season).
At NJIT, Engles takes over a program that has competed at the Division I level for two years.
In the first season of Division I competition (2006-07), NJIT won its opening game, upsetting Manhattan, which had advanced a round in the previous year's NIT. The Highlanders then won their next game against Rider before finishing the season with a 5-24 overall record. Coincidentally, NJIT's stunning start was halted in the third game, a 73-60 loss at Columbia. NJIT was winless in 2007-08.
Engles, who starred at St. Peter's High School on Staten Island has strong basketball bloodlines. His grandfather, Ken Engles, was a player and coach at Georgetown. And Jim's uncle, John, was a star at Penn under Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly.
Jim and his wife, Meegan, reside in Convent Station, NJ, with their two daughters, Kelcie and Ryenn.