Carl Joseph Engels
March 31, 2008
Carl Joseph Engels, a key figure in Western Michigan University's first formal educational activities overseas, died March 11 at his home in Kalamazoo. He was 86.
Engels was part of a group of some 30 WMU faculty members who helped develop the Ibadan Technical College in Ibadan, Nigeria, from 1960 to 1968 as part of a United States Agency for International Development project. He was science advisor at the college from 1964 to 1968, serving on the team that taught Ibadan students and instructors as well as assisted in building the school's curriculum.
A high school teacher and coach at Wyoming Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., Engels joined the WMU faculty in 1953 as an assistant professor of natural science and retired in 1985 as an associate professor with emeritus status.
He initially taught at University High School, WMU's campus training school for teachers, and was appointed chair of the science area in the College of General Studies in 1974. While at WMU, Engels founded the WMU Sailing Club as well as coached the University High School tennis team from 1955 to 1964, winning five state championships.
Engels coached numerous high school sports at both University High and Wyoming Park, including football, basketball, track and tennis. He began coaching tennis in the early 1940s and led his teams to eight state titles in three different classes. That was a feat no other tennis coach in state high school history had achieved a of 1992, when Engels was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
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