|Title:||Head Softball Coach|
Jody Long begins the 2012-13 season as Northeast’s leader in fast-pitch coaching wins after passing David Carnell early in the 2011-12 season.
During the 2011-12 year, Long led the Lady Tiger softball team to top three finishes in both the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Tournament and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XXIII Tournament.
In the MACJC State Tournament at Fulton, the Lady Tiger softball team brought back the MACJC state runner-up trophy to Booneville.
Under Long’s guidance, Northeast finished the season with a 32-19 record and posted a school-record for North Division wins with 17. During the course of the 2011-12 season, Northeast finished as the third team from the North Division but parlayed that finish into a state runner-up finish against Jones County at the MACJC State Tournament and then continued its postseason momentum as Northeast was one of the last three teams left standing at the NJCAA Region XXIII Tournament in Clinton.
Long’s Lady Tigers not only did work on the field but were successful in the classroom as well with seven member of the Northeast softball team being selected for NJCAA Student-Athlete Academic Awards and the team as a whole was honored by the NJCAA for its academic work when the Lady Tigers were ranked as the thirteenth best team in the nation with a 3.42 overall grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale and was fifth in the nation by the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association’s (NFCA) rankings.
Northeast’s highlight of the year came during it annual StrikeOut Cancer doubleheader that saw redshirt freshman Jaisa Fox (Cincinnati, Ohio) throw a perfect game against Mississippi Delta and freshman pitcher Erin Dixson (Amherst, New York) followed up with a no-hitter in the nightcap. By the end of the season, Northeast was receiving votes in the NJCAA Top 20 Softball Poll.
Long and the Lady Tigers turned the corner during the 2010-11 season when Northeast qualified for the 2010-11 MACJC State Tournament in Perkinston after missing out the year before. Northeast gave host Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College a run in the first round of the single-elimination tournament before seeing its season come to an end at 25-23 on the year.
Just a year prior, Northeast was able to collect wins during the second half of the season to close the 2009-10 year out on a positive note however, Northeast barely missed qualifying for the MACJC State Tournament by falling to the fifth spot in the final MACJC North Division standings.
Long took over the reins of the program from Carnell in 2006 and kept the Lady Tiger softball program going strong in his first years as head coach.
Following a postseason berth in both is first two years, Northeast’s 2008 team found its stride as the Lady Tigers plowed through the competition to 34-20 overall record including a 14-3 mark in division play that helped Northeast secure its seventh MACJC North Division title in the previous eight years.
In his first season as head coach, Long led the Lady Tigers to a 32-23 overall mark and their third straight TigerFest championship, a sixth consecutive North Division title and MACJC State and NJCAA Region XXIII runner-up finishes.
Northeast’s MACJC State and NJCAA Region XXIII runner-up finishes were the fourth and third years in a row that Northeast had finished in those respective positions. Long also finished as the runner-up in the voting for the MACJC Coach of the Year that year.
Long began working as an assistant softball coach at Northeast in 1997, and following the 2000 season, played a major role in the program’s switch to fast pitch competition.
Beginning with the 2001 season, the Tigers shared one North Division title (’01) and won the championship outright five times (’02, ’03, ’04, ’05 and ‘06). Northeast has hosted the State/Region 23 Tournament twice (’02 and ‘04) and battled through the loser’s bracket to win the Region 23 title and participate in the National Tournament in 2003.
Northeast’s softball team is the only team in Region 23 (Mississippi and Louisiana) to play in every championship game from 2001 to 2006.
I`n 2001, Long was named the All-Region/All American Director through the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
Following the 2003 campaign, he was named NFCA Division II South Region Coach of the Year. Long has also served as the president of the MACJC Softball Coaches Association since 2003.
Long also serves as assistant director of event planning and resident life and is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor.
After attending Northeast as a student and working as a manager/trainer on the baseball team, Long of New Albany returned to Booneville in the spring of 1997 to complete an internship through the University of Mississippi.
He joined the Northeast family full time that summer as the director of the college’s commercial-style health and fitness center, which he planned and developed, and an assistant director of student activities.
Since then, Long has become an instrumental member of the Northeast athletic family, helping turn the Tiger softball program into a perennial powerhouse.
Prior to coming to Northeast, Long earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and leisure management (ESLM) from the University of Mississippi.
He was named the ESLM undergraduate of the year in 1997 with a 3.85 core grade point average. Long obtained a master’s degree in education administration in December of 2000.
Long is a member of the Booneville Church of Christ. Jody and his wife Wendy Sullivan of Pontotoc have two sons, Anderson and Thomas.