Written by Jon Machota
Tanner Coffin's hat trick helps Jesuit boys to win, coach Charles DeLong to career victory 500
Jesuit head coach Charles DeLong earns career victory No. 500
Calmly in his seat on the home team’s bench, Jesuit boys soccer coach Charles DeLong sat with his arms folded and his legs crossed for most of the second half of Tuesday’s game at Jesuit Ranger Stadium.
An outsider would never have guessed that the 64-year-old coach was about to win his 500th career game at the same school.
But when the final horn sounded, and Jesuit had defeated Lake Highlands 5-0, DeLong finally flashed a smile that would last the next half hour as he took pictures with his current and former players.
“I’ve been blessed in my soccer life as a player and a coach to have lots of good memories,” DeLong said. “This is right up there.”
At Jesuit since November 1980, DeLong has won 15 TCIL championships and a UIL title in 2010. His milestone victory makes him the 38 coach in the country to reach the 500-win mark, according to ESPN.com.
“It’s great. I’m happy I could stay here for 32 years and get it done,” DeLong said. “The first couple years I worked here I was just hoping I could stay on for one more year.”
A recent health scare also helps DeLong appreciate his achievement. Serious workouts and failure to take blood pressure medicine landed DeLong in the hospital after suffering a stroke.
“It’s a lesson for old people that you should go to the doctor and get your blood pressure medicine taken care of,” he said. “I didn’t do that. But I’ve felt good for the last several days, so it’s all good.”
The play on the field didn’t provide much drama, Jesuit [16-2], No. 5 in the SportsDayHS boys soccer rankings, jumped out to a two goal lead in the first 10 minutes and used a hat trick from senior Tanner Coffin to grab a 4-0 halftime advantage.
"Every day at school we'd talk about it ... what it would be like to be the team to get him 500," Coffin said. "It's a relief. One last thing we have to worry about. But it was fun to do it."
Juan de Dios Torres and Raul Caballero netted the other two goals.