Gene A. Carpenter (November 28, 1939 - December 10, 2009) was an American football coach and sports figure in the United States. He was the head football coach at Millersville University, located in a suburb of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for 31 years from 1970 to 2001.
1 Coaching history,
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Carpenter was the tenth head college football coach for the Adams State College Grizzlies located in Alamosa, Colorado and he held that position for the 1968 season. His coaching record at Adams State was 8 wins, 1 loss, and 0 ties. 13th at Adams State in total wins and first at Adams State in winning percentage (0.889). In the one season as head coach, his team outscored opponents by 225 to 115. The only loss was a 6-28 defeat by New Mexico Highlands on October 5, 1968 on their way to becoming the 1968 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions.
In 1970 Gene Carpenter moved on to Millersville University where he was the mastermind behind the most successful era in Millersville University football's history, completing 31 seasons with a 212-89-6 record and an astounding .700 winning percentage. The winningest head coach in Millersville history, Gene Carpenter led the Marauders to 10 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division championships. Dr. Gene A. Carpenter built a program that ranked among the elite in NCAA Division II circles under the motto "The Difference Pride Makes". Under Coach Carpenter's direction, Millersville first PSAC East Title came in 1977 with an 8-2 record and no.10 ranking in the NCAA poll. Millersville made its first NCAA Tournament appearance two years later riding on a powerful offense that featured future NFL players Robb Riddick and Will Lewis. Carpenter's teams captured ten PSAC Eastern Division championships including consecutive titles in 79-81, and 88-90. Carpenter achieved his greatest gridiron success in 1988 when the Marauders not only went undefeated in PSAC East competition(6-0)(9-1) but also qualified for their first NCAA II playoff berth. The Millersville players and coaches brought honor and additional "Marauder Pride" to Millersville University and Eastern College football that year as the 1988 Millersville Gridders earned the Lambert/Meadowlands Cup emblematic of Division II Eastern Football supremacy and the ECAC Division II team of the Year trophy. Millersville closed the decade with another PSAC East title. Carpenter's Marauders success continued in the 1990s. The Marauders went 45-13-1 against division foes and won four more PSAC East titles. In 1995, Coach Carpenter guided the Marauders to their first undefeated regular season since 1940. During the 31 years at Millersville, 49 of Carpenter's players were named All-American. Statistically, he produced 12 seasons with eight or more victories; posted winning records in 28 of his 31 seasons including 12 straight from 1971 to 1982, and 10 in succession since 1992. Dr. Carpenter, whose 31 year tenure was the longest in MU grid history, has the distinction of being the only Millersville mentor to win at least 200 games. He also garnered many awards and accolades including PSAC Eastern Division Coach of the Year (1977, 1981);In 1986 he received the AFCA's prestigious Pop Warner Huddle Prayer Award in April 1990, the George W. Kirchner Award. Lancaster Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association for outstanding contributions to Lancaster County sports; Lancaster-Lebanon Berks Quarterback Clue Recognition Award; Philadelphia City All-Star Football Association "First and Goal" recipient as an outstanding role model and was named an Honorary Alumnus by the MU Alumni Association In 1988, Carpenter was inducted into the Central Chapter and Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. In 2010, Carpenter was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
As the University's Director of Men's Athletics, he administered a strong intercollegiate program that made its mark on the conference, regional and national scenes. During his tenure, the Men's cross country team won the NCAA Division II title, and PSAC crowns were won by the basketball and tennis teams. Team and individual post season qualifiers became a yearly norm, as had the selection of All-Americans in several sports.
As further evidence of his dynamic leadership, Dr. Carpenter led successful efforts to improve facilities and student-athletic scholarship support efforts. He also showed dedication to the community service, conducting an annual drug and alcohol symposium on the MU campus each summer to benefit area educators, physicians, health care and social services personnel.
Dr. Carpenter was active with several organizations including the Maxwell Football Club's Board of Governors, the NCAA football Rules Committee, the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of College Directors of Athletics, the NCAA Committee of Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and the Pop Warner Football Association. He served as chairman of the PSAC Football Committee from 1983-1991. Carpenter also had been a popular speaker at banquets and motivational seminars.
Carpenter retired following 29 winning seasons in his 32-year coaching career a 220-90-6 record and an astounding .693 winning percentage.
Coach Carpenter was selected in 2012 to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame Divisional Class.
The Gene A. Carpenter Football Foundation was established in 2006. The Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 corporation. It was founded to provide financial support to the Millersville University football program.
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