Visitation is Sunday evening with a 2 p.m. Monday funeral set for Northwestern State football team chaplain Carroll Long, a tri-captain of the Demons’ undefeated 1966 team and a member of the university’s Long Purple Line alumni hall of distinction.
Long, 72, passed away Friday evening ending a battle with cancer. The Winnfield native became the football team chaplain in 2009 after several years of involvement while he lived in Longview, Texas, and worked with the 2016 NSU football team during spring practice. He was also an active supporter of all of his alma mater’s athletic teams and the Demons Unlimited Foundation.
As a player, Long won the Demons’ “Coaches Award” for demonstrating leadership, character and serving as an example for his teammates, who voted him one of the three permanent captains of the 9-0 squad in his senior season. He played center for coach Jack Clayton’s Demons after being an outstanding center and linebacker at Winnfield High School.
Visitation Sunday is from 5-8 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center, with the funeral Monday afternoon at 2 at the First Baptist Church of Natchitoches under the direction of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home.
He is survived by his wife Susan and two daughters, Kimberly Long Wilcox and Melinda Long, and his twin brother, state Sen. Gerald Long.
“Carroll loved our players and coaches, and we all loved him,” said NSU head football coach Jay Thomas. “He was always front and center to offer encouragement, support, and wisdom. We will miss him on our sideline, in our locker room, in our coaches offices and in our lives. He and Mrs. Susan have been like family to everyone in this program for many years.”
A successful State Farm Insurance agent, earning a lifetime membership in the President’s Club, the highest honor for an agent, Carroll Long earned bachelor’s (1967) and master’s (1970) degrees in education from Northwestern.
He returned home to teach history and coach football and basketball at Winnfield, and was believed to be the first coach at a predominantly white north Louisiana high school, before desegregation, to play African-American athletes.
The Longs have been extremely active supporters of their alma mater. He served for many years on the NSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
In 2014, Long was chosen to join the Long Purple Line, along with his twin brother.