ENGADINE — Engadine is keeping ties to it’s past while looking forward to its football future.


Vince Leveille is resuming his football coaching career at his alma mater, taking the reins as Eagles’ head football coach. Leveille is a 1985 Engadine High School graduate and played football for the Eagles. Leveille’s return continues ties to a coaching tree that covers a lot of Eagles’ football history, as he was a teammate of Howard Hood’s at Engadine, where they were both coached by Joe Austin.


Hood stepped down as Engadine football coach this past December after 31 years with the program over several different stints. Leveille was hired this past winter, just before schools were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.


“I look forward to continuing the tradition of football success that Engadine has had over the years,” Leveille said. “Howard Hood, Lester Livermore and Joe Austin have built and kept up a program that has a lot to be proud of. For me, it’s a chance to finish my coaching career where I started.


“Engadine always had tremendous support for football for as long as I remember,” Leveille said. “Friday nights in the fall, the football field was the place to be. I want to help keep up that going.”


Leveille moved back to the EUP in 2018, taking a teaching job at Newberry High School. He was an assistant coach, working alongside his former high school coach Joe Austin at Newberry two years ago.


While his work at Newberry marked his return to U.P. football, Leveille has extensive coaching experience. He was head football coach at Vassar High School for 11 years, and was an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State University, and head coach and offensive coordinator for the Saginaw Sting professional indoor football team.


“I was hired (at Engadine) right before everything was shut down due to the pandemic,” Leveille said. “I haven’t had a chance to even meet in person with all the players yet. That has been a challenge, but every school is in the same position right now, waiting out a chance to return.”


Engadine is coming off an 8-2 football season, and the Eagles have been a playoff team for eight straight seasons. This will be Leveille’s first time as a head coach working with 8-man football at the high school level.


“There is a big adjustment, scheme-wise, for sure,” Leveille said of 8-man football. “Just have three less guys trying to cover basically the same amount of field, that’s a challenge.


“Engadine has usually had a power running game over the years,” Leveille said. “I’d like to open it up a little more with the passing game. We led the league in passing when I was coaching at Saginaw. I definitely have some plays and ideas I’d like to work into the offense. I don’t know what our roster will look like yet, so we’ll see.”


Austin is expected to return as Newberry’s football coach this fall, continuing a gridiron career which has spanned over four 40 years. The Eagles and Indians are scheduled to meet in week 9 this upcoming season.


“I’m sure both teams will have that game marked on their calendars,” Leveille said. “The schools have been rivals in every sport for years, but this is the first time they’ll meet in football. It should be a fun game to watch.”