Rocky Mount, N.C. - The North Carolina Wesleyan Department of Athletics is pleased to announce that its storied baseball program will be adding a seventh retired jersey to the left field fencing of Bauer Field -- the #10 of long-time head coach Charlie Long. Long, who recently stepped down after 21 seasons at the helm of the program, joins Bishop greats Jamie Whiting (#2), Greg Clark (#3), Ernie Jones (#8), Carl Payne (#14), Moe Bauer (#18), and Mike Fox (#30) in garnering this prestigious honor.
The longest tenured coach in NCWC baseball history, Long was a member of the Battling Bishop coaching staff for 27 years, first as an assistant and then as head coach. He was proud to be a part of 1,160 total games during his tenure with the program, which recently competed in its 2,000th game this March.
In the fall of 1991, Long joined the Bishops' staff as head volleyball coach while serving as the school's first full-time assistant baseball coach. In 1995, he functioned as the Bishops' interim head coach and led Wesleyan to the Conference Championship, making it to the title game of the South Regional.
Long took over as full-time head coach for the Bishops in 1999, leading his Battling Bishops to their second NCAA Division III National Championship in his inaugural campaign. That same championship season saw him named both the Dixie Conference and South Region Coach of the Year, as well as the North Carolina College Coach of the Year and American Baseball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. Seven years later in 2006, the veteran skipper again earned South Region Coach of the Year honors after leading NCWC to its 12th World Series appearance. The Bishops, who received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the USA South Tournament, hosted and won the South Regional crown.
The 2009 and 2010 seasons saw Long earn USA South Coach of the Year honors for the second and third times of his career after leading NCWC to back-to-back USA South Regular Season crowns, bringing the program's all-time total to 17. Wesleyan also secured its 6th Conference Tournament Title in 2009, as well as the program's 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, Long captured ten USA South (formerly Dixie) Regular Season and/or Tournament Championships, while leading Wesleyan to a 16-9 overall record in NCAA Tournament play. He also guided six players to All-American honors, while several went on to play at the professional level.
For his efforts, Long is a 2016 NCWC Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and a 2017 Hall of Fame selection at his alma mater, the University of Mount Olive. His #10 legacy will now live on alongside six other Bishop legends whose contributions to the N.C. Wesleyan baseball program will never be forgotten.
A formal unveiling of Long's number at Bauer Field will take place at a later date.