Gordon E. Howell


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Gordon E. Howell, or Gordie as he prefers to be called, came to Rollins in search of a master's degree in economics.  During his years as a student, he helped teach economics and scuba diving.  For three years he worked as a football coach at Winter Park High school, but by 1967 he returned to Rollins as a physical educator.

A native of North Carolina, Howell attended Western Carolina University for his undergraduate degree before joining the Marines, where he rose to the rank of Captain.  Taking weekend courses at the University of Virginia inspired him to pursue a career in higher education.  He was also the first in his family to go to college.

Rejoining the Rollins community, Howell became the director of men's intramurals, a position he held for fifteen years.  When President McKean called upon him to assist with the men's soccer program, Howell accepted the challenge even though he was not familiar with the sport.  His 156-62-17  career record as soccer coach is a testament to his talent.  During an especially turbulent time for the Athletics Department, Howell took on the role of interim Director of Athletics.  Following the search for a new director, with over one hundred applicants, Howell came out on top as the best candidate  for the job.  Not only did he coach and teach activity courses, he designed a number of new courses to connect sports to the humanities and other aspects of academics.

Howell has also been inducted into two separate halls of fame:   Rollins College Alumni Sports Hall of Fame as a soccer coach in 1988 and the Florida Intercollegiate Sunshine State Hall of Fame as an athletic administrator in 1992.  He has particular interest in Olympism and a holistic approach to sports.

So before your time who's the coach of the soccer team?

  • "...So they lost their technical advisor and Ted was graduating, so the opening was there and President McKean was very fond of soccer, he started the program and did want to see it flourish and he just asked me to take a go at it."



  • "...The lady with the baby was there, the police were there, the objectors that had been over to the tea were there, and I made my proposal again and each was asked to say something and each was supportive of lighting the field.  The only change that I had to make, the city said, I wanted 90-foot poles, they said you can’t be higher than 70 and you must paint the poles green..."

  • "...I was able to get one course at a time through the Academic Affairs Committee having to do with sports.  Sports & Society for example, I started that, Ethical Issues & Contemporary Sports..."



  • "...I went to Greece looking for different sites.  You know, the main Pan Hellenic sites and some smaller sites and museums and temples and sanctuaries I knew about, but I wanted to see what else is out there.  Looking for unknown sites for athletics in the ancient world."


  • "... He loved to take Rollins students and he went down under the water and you’d just place it over your head on the top of the water on the surface and you’d sit down.  And then through that plate glass window you can watch the bass..."

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Howell Discusses the Second Hearing About Lighting Sandspur Field

Howell Discusses a Holistic Approach to Sports

Howell Discusses Developing 'Athletics of the Ancient World'

Howell Discusses Fleetwood People's Diving Helmet