|Title:||Head Baseball Coach|
Charlie Long enters his 22nd season with North Carolina Wesleyan baseball and 16th as head coach. Under the direction of Long, the Battling Bishops captured the 1999 NCAA Division III National Championship. Additionally, Long has captured five USA South (formerly Dixie) Conference Championships, while leading Wesleyan to a 16-9 overall record in NCAA Tournament play. In 15 seasons, Long has compiled 360-286-4 overall record at the helm of the Bishop baseball program.
Long played his collegiate baseball career at Mount Olive College (NC), earning a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science as a Cum Laude graduate in 1989. The team’s most valuable player in 1987, Long posted a career batting average of .371. He was also an excellent fielder, committing only one error in his junior season at second base. In 1989, Long was selected as the Mount Olive College Athlete of the Year.
Long’s coaching career began in the fall of 1989. As a graduate assistant at Campbell University (NC), Long coached with former major league player, Mike Caldwell. His chief duties included infield and hitting instruction. Under Caldwell, the 1990 Campbell team advanced to the NCAA West Regional held at Stanford University. Long went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the Division I University.
In the fall of 1991, Long joined the Battling Bishops' staff as head volleyball coach, as well as fulfilling duties as the school’s first full-time assistant baseball coach. In 1995, Long functioned as the Bishops’ interim head baseball coach and led Wesleyan to the Conference Championship, making it to the title game of the South Regional. Wesleyan finished ‘95 with a 34-12 overall record.
Long’s 1995 team produced two All-Americans, Chris Bryant and Marvin Johnson, seven All-South Regional selections, and eight All-Conference performers. At shortstop, Bryant was named Conference Player of the Year and was runner-up for National Player of the Year.
Long took over as full-time head coach for the Bishops in 1999. That same season, Long earned the Conference and South Regional Coach of the Year. He was also named the North Carolina College Coach of the Year, and after leading his team to the National Championship in Salem, VA, Long was honored as the American Baseball Coaches Association Diamond Division III National Coach of the Year. Long’s ‘99 squad had one All-American, pitcher Jayson Sigley, 10 All-South Regional performers, and eight All-Conference selections.
Long earned South Regional Coach of the Year honors again in 2006 after leading his Bishops to their 12th World Series appearance. Wesleyan, who received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after capturing the USA South Tournament Championship, hosted and won the South Regional crown. The 2006 Bishops were led by All-American pitcher Blake Rice, who tossed a program-record 12 complete games. Rice, in fact, is one of seven Bishops coached by Long that have gone on to play at a professional level.
Most recently, 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 the Bishops to back-to-back USA South Regular Season crowns, bringing the program's all-time total to 17. Wesleyan also captured its 6th Conference Tournament Title in 2009, as well as the program's 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to his coaching duties, Long serves as a teacher in the College’s Exercise Science program. He has taught various activity classes, as well as some upper level physical education courses. Furthermore, Long recently completed his second term on the NCAA Regional Rules Committee.
Long is a tremendous proponent of Division III athletics because of the type of desire and determination the philosophy brings out in the individual players. Athletes are dedicated and have a desire to prove that that they can play at any level. This attitude has proved to be a successful formula for the Battling Bishops.
Long is married to the former Tamara Johnson of Front Royal, VA. They have five children: Zachary, Holly, Justin, Colin, and Savanna.