Longtime Armored Athlete coach Dan Engelstad going dancing with Mount St. Mary's

 

By: Gabe Maturo


Dan Engelstad just keeps on winning

For many, Mount St. Mary's turnaround over the last two years is nothing short of miraculous. For Dan Engelstad, it's just doing what he's always done: win.

Engelstad started his Division 1 head coaching career at the Mount in 2018. 

His team finished his inaugural season second to last in the NEC with an overall record of 9-22.

Fast forward to a week ago, and Engelstad is now headed to March Madness after coaching his Mountaineers to an NEC Conference Tournament title. They'll take on Texas Southern in a First Four game at 5:10pm EDT on Thursday.

 

 This two-year turnaround from bottom of the conference to champions is one of the great stories of college basketball this season.

Flashback to three years ago and Englestad was in his 5th season as a head coach at Division 3 Southern Vermont University.

During his tenure at SVU, he spent his summers leading Armored Athlete in TBT.

 

Engelstad succeeded not only in his college coaching career, but in his TBT stint as well.

TBT gave him the opportunity to coach high-level professionals on national television. He seized the spotlight, helping establish Armored Athlete as a yearly contender.

For those that know him, it’s no surprise that he found success with Armored Athlete.

6p #1 Team Colorado vs. #4 Armored Athlete_003

 

“Dan is just always willing to learn. He’s obsessed with his craft and very very good at connecting with the players,” said Armored Athlete GM AJ Mahar

“I credit his ability to connect with guys. I don’t think many Division 3 guys could step in there and gain those players’ trust so fast. I really think that it’s his obsession to do whatever it takes to ensure that things go well and that the team is successful.”

 

In his first year coaching Armored Athlete, Engelstad led his squad to the Quarterfinals.

The next year, in 2016, he led the team to the Round of 32, winning two games along the way.

“Most of the guys that he’s coached in TBT have realized not only the confidence he has, but his willingness to learn,” said Mahar. “He respects the players and they respect him right back. There’s just this swagger about him that’s really infectious.”

 

In 2017, he led Armored Athlete to impressive wins over Team 23 and Team Colorado en route to the Super Sixteen.

From Division 3 to TBT to Division 1, Engelstad now finds himself preparing for the field of 68 as his team takes on March Madness.

Will Engelstad find continued tournament success in the NCAA Tournament this weekend?

Given his track record, it would be foolish to count him out.