North Texas Names Rodney DeLong Head Softball Coach
Led Austin Peay To 39-19 Season, NISC Appearance In 2018
DENTON - Rodney DeLong has been hired as the head coach for the North Texas softball program, Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker announced Wednesday.
“I am excited to welcome Coach DeLong and his family into the North Texas family,” Baker said. “Rodney is a rising star among college softball coaches and possesses the qualities the search committee desired when we began our search. He has had success with different programs at multiple levels. He’s a proven coach, but more importantly for us, he has demonstrated the ability to help young people grow and develop. Coach DeLong will be an asset to this campus and community.”
An 11-year coaching veteran, DeLong comes to North Texas after leading Austin Peay to a program-record 39 wins in 2018, snapping a 24-year streak of losing seasons. The 39-19 record in his first season with the Governors marked a 22-win improvement, the largest in NCAA Division I softball this year. APSU won a program-record three games on its way to a school-best third-place finish at the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, and the Governors earned an at-large bid into the National Invitational Softball Championship.
“I am honored and humbled to coach North Texas,” DeLong said. “I have watched this program from afar for years, and to be chosen to lead it is a dream come true for me and my family. This is an exciting time for North Texas athletics. I want to thank Wren Baker and his staff for believing in me and I look for to building this program up as we begin a new era of North Texas softball.”
Prior to Austin Peay, DeLong was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech and served as the hitting instructor and infielders coach. During the 2017 campaign, the Yellow Jackets showed improvement in 11 different offensive categories and finished the season ranked 18th nationally in home runs per game (1.02), nearly doubling their average from 2016 (0.59). Georgia Tech's defense ranked 59th nationally in double plays per game (0.40).
In his first collegiate coaching stop, DeLong compiled a 105-60 (.636) record at Cameron University and led the Aggies to consecutive NCAA Division II Softball Tournament appearances for the first time in program history. Under his tutelage, Cameron had 18 all-conference honorees, nine named all-region and two selected as All-Americans.
In his final season, the Aggies went 33-21 and 18-14 in the Lone Star Conference, good for a program-best third-place finish in conference. The 2015 squad posted a school-record 41 wins, including a program-record 17-game winning streak, and reached the South Central Regional final. In his inaugural season, DeLong led the program to its first winning season since 2009 with a 31-21 record.
Once considered one of the top high school softball coaches in Oklahoma, DeLong amassed a 211-64 (.767) record at Cache High School (2008-10; 2012-13) and Lawton MacArthur High School (2011). While at Cache, he led the Bulldogs to the 2013 state championship, as well as four regional championships and five district championship.
A two-year letterwinner on Cameron's baseball team, DeLong played shortstop for the Aggies, starting in 79 games and finishing with 54 career RBI. He began his collegiate career at Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa, earning second-team all-region honors after batting .390 with 10 home runs and 56 RBI as a sophomore.
DeLong graduated from Cameron University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in history. He received his Masters of Education in sports administration at East Central University in 2013. Rodney and his wife Meghann have two children: daughter Kaiya and son Ryker.
- Family: wife Meghann; daughter Kaiya and son Ryker
- College: Cameron, 2006 (B.A.); East Central, 2013 (M.E.)
- 2008-10 Cache High School, head coach
- 2011 Lawton MacArthur High School, head coach
- 2012-13 Cache High School, head coach
- 2014-16 Cameron University, head coach
- 2017 Georgia Tech, assistant coach
- 2018 Austin Peay State University, head coach
- 2014 NCAA Division II, South Central Regional (Cameron)
- 2015 NCAA Division II, South Central Regional final (Cameron)
- 2018 NISC, Region 3 (Austin Peay)
- 2013 Oklahoma Slow Pitch Coaches Association Coach of the Year (Cache)
- 2012 Oklahoma Fastpitch Coaches Association 3A/4A Oklahoma West Coach of the Year (Cache)
- 2010 Oklahoma Fastpitch Coaches Association Region 4 Coach of the Year (Cache)