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Meet Head Coach Mike DeLong

Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013. For the past 29 years, he has been the head coach at Springfield, his alma mater. DeLong had also been the head coach at Maine Maritime in Castine, Maine in 1979 and 1980.

In the past 13 years, the SC football program owns a very impressive 94-43 record (.686 winning percentage), has appeared in post season play eight times, and played in the NCAA Division III tournament five times under DeLong.

Going back to the 1995 season, when Springfield College joined the Division III ranks, DeLong’s record here at Springfield College is 125-62, for an excellent .668 winning percentage.

With 173 victories at Springfield alone, DeLong has won more games than any other coach in the history of the SC program. Overall, Mike’s record at SC is 173-119-2, which translates into a .592 winning percentage. Add in his 12-6 mark in his two-year stint at Maine Maritime, and Mike’s 30-year record as a head coach is 185-125-2, good for a .596 winning percentage. With those 185 victories, Delong is the winningest active head coach in New England Division III.

DeLong has directed the Pride to five NCAA Tournament appearances, five Freedom Football Conference (FFC) titles, one Empire 8 co-title (in 2006), and five Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships. The five FFC titles were the most in the history of the now-defunct league. Springfield has also established college football’s premier running attack, leading D-III in rushing seven times (1996, ‘99, 2000, ‘02, ’03, '06, and 2011) and finishing second in 2004, 2009, and 2012.

With success comes well-deserved recognition, and DeLong’s mantle is becoming pretty crowded. In 2001, the All-American Football Foundation selected DeLong as a recipient of its Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award for Head Coaches. He also won FFC and American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) District I Coach-of-the-Year accolades in 2000 and ‘03. In 2006 alone, DeLong earned four Coach of the Year awards. He was named Empire 8 Coach of the Year (unanimously), NEFWA Division II/III Coach of the Year, AFCA Division III Coach of the Year (Region I), and d3football.com East Region Coach of the Year.

Ranking the merits of individual teams in a program with such a rich history is nearly impossible. It would be hard, however, to top what DeLong’s ’03 squad accomplished. How does the first 10-0 season in school annals sound? Or the top seed in the East in the NCAA Tournament and a first-round bye, also program firsts? National ranking, you ask? This team entered the post-season ranked No. 6 in the AFCA D-III National Poll, and won its fifth FFC title and fifth national rushing championship (398.5 yards-per-game). DeLong spent several nights on the banquet circuit after the ’03 season, winning AFCA Region I, Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, and FFC Coach-of-the-Year honors.

In 2006, the Pride achieved lofty goals. The team finished 10-2, won its first Empire 8 co-title (5-1), and reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time. SC defeated Curry in the first round, before losing to St. John Fisher in the NCAA Round of 16. On the way, DeLong coached junior QB Chris Sharpe, who became winner of numerous awards, including the Melberger Award, symbolic of the National Division III Player of the Year. Sharpe led the nation in rushing yards per game (161.8) and scoring average per game (17.7 ppg). As a team, SC led the nation in rushing offense (374.7 ypg) and turnover ratio (+1.92 pg). The team finished ranked #11 by Don Hansen's Football Gazette, #15 by d3football.com, and #1 in New England Division III. The team was also ranked as high as 10th nationally and #2 in the Lambert poll. As a team, SC broke several school records, including most rushing yards (4,496) and most total yards (4,972) in a season.

In the 2004 season (8-2, ECAC Division III North Atlantic Championship), the Pride received its highest national ranking in history when it found itself fourth in the national polls for six straight weeks.

In ’02, DeLong and the Pride captured their third NCAA Tournament berth since ‘98. SC posted an 8-2 overall record and captured its fourth FFC Championship in six seasons. The Pride, which went 6-0 in conference play for the third time in five seasons, ranked No. 20 in the final AFCA Division III Poll. SC led D-III in rushing (356.7), and averaged 40.6 points-per-game in the regular season. DeLong’s 100th career win as SC’s head man came on Oct. 26, a 31-22 triumph at WPI.

DeLong led SC on a magical ride in 2000. The Pride’s 11-2 record, the most wins in school history, included SC’s third FFC title and a trip to the East Region Final of the NCAA Championship. It was the first time a New England school had gone to a regional final. SC also became the first D-III squad ever to compile 4,000 rushing yards in one season, leading the nation and setting a Division III record with 4,275 yards. The Pride, which scored at least 40 points in seven contests, established a school record by averaging 43.0 points-per-game. DeLong was named coach of the year by several organizations, including the AFCA (Region I), the New England Football Writers and the FFC.

The 2000 campaign marked the second time in three years that SC reached the post-season. In ‘98, SC compiled a 9-2 record, tying the then-school record for wins in a season. DeLong’s squad also captured the FFC crown with a 6-0 mark and competed in its first NCAA Tournament. SC was ranked first in the final NCAA Division III East Region poll and seventh in the Lambert-Meadowlands Division III poll. The Pride averaged 39.2 points and led the conference in total offense (461.8) and rushing (381.4, second nationally).

DeLong led SC to a share of the FFC crown in ‘96 after posting a 5-1 record in conference play. The Pride won the first of six national rushing crowns (351.2) and ranked first in the FFC in total offense (409.2). In ‘95, DeLong guided the Pride to an 8-2 record in its first D-III season and the ECAC Division III Northeast Championship with a 49-26 victory over Cortland State, the first playoff contest in the program’s history.

DeLong is a 1974 Springfield College graduate and the 13th head coach in the long and distinguished history of the program, which dates back to 1890 and Amos Alonzo Stagg. The 57-year-old DeLong was a letter-winner in basketball, football, golf, and track at Holland Patent Central High School in upstate New York. As an undergraduate at SC, DeLong received his bachelor’s degree in physical education and was a defensive lineman under Coach Ted Dunn for three seasons.

After graduation, DeLong served as head wrestling coach and assistant football coach at Holland Patent High School for three years before attending the University of North Carolina. While earning his master’s degree in physical education at Chapel Hill, DeLong was a volunteer graduate assistant defensive coach on a team that played in the Liberty Bowl.

In 1978, DeLong was appointed assistant professor of physical education at Maine Maritime and served one year as defensive coordinator before taking over the head coaching duties the following season. After a 4-5 record in ‘79, DeLong’s squad followed with an 8-1 mark in 1980, which was the team’s best showing in its 35-year history. He was named the New England Coach of the Year by United Press International and The Boston Herald-American after the Mariners won the New England Conference Championship.

DeLong returned to Springfield College as the defensive coordinator in 1981. He was promoted to head coach in 1984. The resurgence of SC football began when he installed the multiple option offense in 1987. The Pride recorded a 5-3-1 mark in ‘87 and followed with a 6-3-1 record in 1988, marking SC’s first back-to-back winning seasons since the ‘80 and ‘81 campaigns.

In addition to coaching, DeLong is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Education and Health Studies. He also served as a member of the College’s Faculty Senate. DeLong and his wife, Lynne, reside in Monson. They have two children: Rob and Kelly.

(Information prior to the 2013 season.)

The DeLong File
Year Position School W-L-T Team Honors
1978 Def. Coordinator Maine Maritime 1-8
1979 Head Coach Maine Maritime 4-5
1980 Head Coach Maine Maritime 8-1 NE Conf. Champions
1981 Def. Coordinator Springfield 5-4
1982 Def. Coordinator Springfield 3-7
1983 Def. Coordinator Springfield 3-7
1984 Head Coach Springfield 3-7
1985 Head Coach Springfield 2-8
1986 Head Coach Springfield 4-5
1987 Head Coach Springfield 5-3-1
1988 Head Coach Springfield 6-3-1
1989 Head Coach Springfield 4-6
1990 Head Coach Springfield 6-4
1991 Head Coach Springfield 7-3
1992 Head Coach Springfield 3-6
1993 Head Coach Springfield 3-7
1994 Head Coach Springfield 5-5
1995 Head Coach Springfield 8-2 ECAC Northeast Title
1996 Head Coach Springfield 6-4 FFC Co-Champions
1997 Head Coach Springfield 4-5
1998 Head Coach Springfield 9-2 NCAA Tourney, FFC Title
1999 Head Coach Springfield 4-6
2000 Head Coach Springfield 11-2 NCAA East Final, FFC Title
2001 Head Coach Springfield 4-5
2002 Head Coach Springfield 8-2 NCAA Tourney, FFC Title
2003 Head Coach Springfield 10-1 NCAA Tourney, FFC Title
2004 Head Coach Springfield 8-2 ECAC North Atlantic Title
2005 Head Coach Springfield 4-6
2006 Head Coach Springfield 10-2 NCAA Tourney, Empire 8 Co-Title
2007 Head Coach Springfield 4-6
2008 Head Coach Springfield 4-6
2009 Head Coach Springfield 8-2 ECAC Northeast Title
2010 Head Coach Springfield 9-2 ECAC North Atlantic Title
2011 Head Coach Springfield 6-4
2012 Head Coach Springfield 8-3 ECAC Northeast Title
Record as a Head Coach:
(31 seasons, 1979-80, 1984-2012): 185-125-2 (.596)
Record at Springfield College:
(29 seasons, 1984-2012): 173-119-2 (.592)
Record at SC since SC went Div. III:
(18 seasons, 1995-2012): 125-62 (.668)
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Head Coach Mike DeLong

Head Coach Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013, including his 30th year as the head coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. To date, DeLong currently has the second-most career wins of any active Division III football coach. Read more.

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E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3156

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