PREP BASEBALL

Wheeler baseball coach Long returning to Twin Lakes

2013-06-04T18:00:00Z 2013-06-05T19:35:16Z Wheeler baseball coach Long returning to Twin LakesJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
June 04, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Monticello is home to Josh Long.

He grew up there and is a 2000 graduate of Twin Lakes, where he was a baseball and basketball standout for the Indians.

When the opportunity to return to his roots arose, Long couldn't pass it up. He resigned Tuesday after three years as Wheeler's baseball coach to return to Twin Lakes.

"My wife (Kaley)'s from Benton Central, which is about 30 minutes from there, and with a little one, we wanted to get back around family. That was the biggest thing," Long said.

"Like I told (Wheeler A.D.) Randy (Stelter), without that experience, I wouldn't be able to go home and have the opportunity to do that. Everything happens for a reason, I guess."

Long grew up in the Twin Lakes schools, becoming close friends and teammates with Brandon Snodgrass, the oldest son of then basketball coach Rick Snodgrass, who was there through Long's eighth grade year.

After playing baseball at Marian, Long became baseball coach at Seeger. When Snodgrass got the Portage basketball job, he brought Long with him as an assistant.

"That's how I got up here," Long said. "Things just fell into place that way."

When Long took the baseball job at Wheeler, he continued to teach at Portage, but moved down to a lower coaching level of basketball there.

"It was a great experience," Long said. "I had some talented kids who were willing to learn. (Wheeler) was a very supportive administration for athletics, which is always nice.

"It's a good conference, good competition. Jack (Schminaski) really had the program rolling. I just changed some minor stuff."

Wheeler returns a solid core next season, led by Sam Bolla, Jake Lafever and Matt Pappas. Stelter is accepting applications for the position.

At Twin Lakes, Long is awaiting approval for his hiring as a Physical Education teacher. The baseball position is vacant, but has not been officially opened yet. Long also figures to get involved in the basketball program in some capacity.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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