Flack retires

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 3, 2004

MURFREESBORO – Thirty years is a long time. That’s how long Steve Flack has been coaching baseball.

Imagine coaching for that long, the faces he’s seen, the lives he has touched, the experiences he will never forget.

For the past 10 of those 30 years he has been at Chowan College. He served as an assistant coach his first season in 1995 and then in his second year was named head coach and instructor in the Health and Physical Education Department.

Over the past 10 seasons, the program has been one of the winningest teams in the school’s history. Under Flack’s tenure the Braves have posted five, 20-win seasons and just one season where the team finished under 15 wins.

Flack will leave Chowan with a 176-168-2 overall record, making him the winningest coach in four-year school history.

Flack and his assistant coaches have made major improvements to the appearance of Hawkins Field, home of the Braves baseball, including new playing surfaces in the infield and outfield. He was instrumental in getting new batting cages and making complete bull pen improvements.

Flack has seen two players sign contracts with major league baseball and helped several of his players earn opportunities to play in prestigious college summer leagues all over the east coast. In 2003 Flack raised money to rename the Braves’ bullpen after the late Randy Burden, who graduated in 2002. He had signed a free agent contract with the Anaheim Angels, but passed away in his sleep in December of 2002. A 12-foot memorial stands in right field in honor of one of Coach Flack’s former outstanding student-athletes.

&uot;I will miss teaching young players the game of baseball. I’ve spent a lot of time teaching players how to carry themselves off the field as well, hopefully things that they will carry with them the rest of their lives,&uot; Coach Flack stated when asked what he would miss the most about his time at Chowan.

He continued, &uot;I am proud of how the program has progressed. We have gotten to the level where we are competing with top schools all over the east coast.&uot;

Flack has several victories over nationally ranked Division III teams each year while also competing with and winning several games against NCAA Division II schools.

Although Flack is retiring, he still sees a life in baseball in his near future. &uot;I anticipate staying in baseball in some form, possibly as an owner of a college summer league franchise.&uot;

Giving up coaching baseball after 30 years has been bitter sweet for Flack, often holding back tears as he talked passionately about his time at Chowan College. Flack not only coached at Chowan, he also graduated from the school in 1970 when it was still a junior college and where he was a three-sport athlete.

&uot;I am always going to be a lifetime supporter of Chowan College,&uot; he stressed.

When asked how he would like to be remembered about his time at Chowan, Flack responded, &uot;I would like to be remembered as a good man, a good teacher, and as a coach that taught his players to accept defeat but to bounce back on the athletic field and in life.&uot;