"I attended The University of Tampa and have the education and skills to teach all sports," says Howard Engel '64 to Hyman Krakower, a professor at the City University of New York, just months after graduating from UT and moving back to New York City. Krakower was looking for someone certified to teach a variety of sports, and Howard convinced him that he was the right man for the job. So started Howard's long career at CUNY Baruch College.
Though Howard was at CUNY to enroll as a master's student in the health education program, he became a professor instead, soon fulfilling the promise he made that day to earn his doctorate of education from St. John's University in Queens, N.Y.
This wasn't the first time that Howard "made his luck." In 1960, Howard was part of the first wave of freshmen recruited from the Northeast. "I was 18 years old, and I thought I was hot stuff," he jokes.
Howard's life in New York was miles away from UT. He had to go to Maas Brothers to buy shirts and ties to fit the dress code. He still remembers the "only half of you will still be here in four years" speech at orientation. Howard knew he would have to work hard in the classroom.
"I got a B-minus average my first semester. Then I made dean's list every semester until graduation," he says. Because he didn't have any money, he also knew he would have to work hard outside the classroom.
"There was a Maas Brothers warehouse behind the baseball stadium by the train tracks where we worked night shift," Howard recalls. "They used to lock us in there at 10 p.m. and let us out the next morning at 6. I tried to work nights when I didn't have classes in the morning." Howard also worked as a lifeguard at the downtown YMCA, on the waitstaff at the Valencia Garden restaurant and delivering cigars in Ybor City. He couriered cars from Florida to New York to get home and back.
At CUNY, Howard coached baseball, soccer, basketball, bowling and golf. His avocation was baseball—officiating with the New York City Public School Athletic League, where he is in the hall of fame.
UT professor Miller Adams helped Howard discover his passion for organizing sports programs. "He was like a second father to me," Howard says.
As a UT student, Howard added several sports to the intramural programs. "Back then, it was the Independents versus the Greeks. I was a member of the P.E. Major Club," Howard says with a wide grin.
For Howard and his wife of 47 years, Natalie, UT is a family affair. Their daughter, Faith Ann '89, and niece, Felicia '89, are proud UT alumnae. That is another reason why Howard and Natalie decided to include a gift to UT in their estate plans. Their generosity will ensure that the Engels will be part of the UT family for generations to come.
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