CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Citadel baseball head coach Fred Jordan announced his retirement Thursday, May 25 concluding a 26-year career as the Bulldogs’ skipper with a record of 831-708 (.540).
“I have been blessed to serve nearly three decades at my alma mater,” Coach Jordan said. “This was a difficult decision, but I will cherish the time spent and relationships developed at The Citadel forever. My greatest satisfaction has not been championships or wins but the impact on young people’s lives that they acknowledge when they come back or reach out during difficult, exciting or significant times. None of our success would have been possible without the great people involved with this program, and I want to thank all of the former players, coaches, staff members and administration for their hard work and support.”
Jordan, whose 831 career wins include 399 victories in conference play, is the Southern Conference’s all-time wins leader by a large margin and also holds the record for most SoCon wins in a career. Jordan leaves the Southern Conference with 190 more wins than fellow Bulldog skipper Chal Port, who is second on the all-time wins list with 641, and 96 more SoCon wins than Rodney Hennon, who won 303 conference games at Western Carolina and Georgia Southern to rank second in conference wins.
The Citadel won 40 or more games in a season two times under Jordan’s leadership, including a 43-win season in 2010 that is second only to the 1990 College World Series team on the program’s all-time list, and topped 30 wins in 18 seasons. The Bulldogs made seven NCAA Tournament appearances with Jordan at the helm and won at least one game four times, claiming a victory over Virginia Tech in 1994, a win over Fordham in 1998, a victory over Coastal Carolina in 2004 and another win against Virginia Tech in 2010. In 1994, The Citadel also won a best-of-three play-in series against MTSU for a bid to the Clemson Regional, where it defeated Virginia Tech.
Jordan led the Bulldogs to five Southern Conference championships and seven Southern Conference Tournament titles, including regular-season and tournament sweeps in 1995, 1999 and 2010. Additionally, The Citadel finished as the SoCon Tournament runner-up in 1996, 2005, 2007 and 2013. The four-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year mentored 12 All-Americans, eight SoCon Pitchers of the Year, including 2017 award winner JP Sears, one SoCon Player of the Year, four SoCon Freshmen of the Year, 68 All-Southern Conference performers and 35 MLB Draft selections, including eight taken in the first 10 rounds and three drafted in the first five rounds.
Jordan’s hard-working teams and his aggressive schedules that annually featured the top programs in the country entertained fans of all ages, turning Joe Riley Park into a hotspot for the Charleston community. In 2001, The Citadel’s cumulative attendance of 53,501 ranked 25th in the country, the only time the Bulldogs have ranked among the top-25 in attendance.
A 1979 graduate of The Citadel and standout pitcher, Jordan helped the Bulldogs win a SoCon title his senior season. He then embarked on a 12-year career as a high school coach where he compiled a record of 226-87 (.722) before returning to his alma mater.
“I am appreciative of Coach Jordan’s leadership of our baseball program,” The Citadel Athletic Director Jim Senter said. “He helped build one of the premier programs in the Southern Conference and sustained that success for more than a quarter of a century. Coach Jordan is one of the best leaders of young men in the country, and we are proud that he led our program with dignity and respect. We will start our search for The Citadel’s next head baseball coach immediately.”
More reaction below
-Debbie Jordan, coach Jordan’s wife
“Citadel Baseball has been a very large and special part of our lives. Freddie, Kristen, Kyle and I have always been Proud to be part of something as GREAT as ‘The Citadel Baseball Family’. We are excited to be able to spend much missed time with our grandchildren and I know he is excited to be able to complete my ‘Honey Do’ list!”
-John Aughey, class of ’05
“Coach Jordan has had a huge impact on my life and career. The leadership skills that were instilled in me and the culture I was exposed to are a direct reflection of the man, husband, and father I am today. To this day I live my life through Coach Jordan’s values of Belief, Faith, Trust and I look forward to passing that along to my son. Thank you for everything you have done. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation I have for you opportunity to be affiliated with the Citadel.”
-Rodney Hancock, class of ’00
“It’s been an emotional day with the announcement of coaches retirement. It’s a good day though. The emotions make you realize how lucky you were to experience something so great. Most people go through their lives not knowing that feeling. I would not be where I am today without coach Jordan. First of all he believed in many when I had many doubters. He held me accountable, he always had a way to get more out his players than you thought you had. He thought me to work hard and dream big is the key to being successful. The amount of players lives he has impacted over the 26 years in just amazing. A bunch of us players still use his phrases in our work today. He prepared me for the real world! I wish the last chapter read a little different.
It’s like getting beat on championship day. It’s not what you worked and wished for but it sure shows you how special the run was Citadel baseball will miss 26!”
-Chris Altman, class of ’05
“It was truly an honor to have played ball for Coach Jordan, not only did he teach me how to be a ball player on the field, but also taught me how to be good person off the field.”
-Phil Hartig, class of ’00
“Coach Jordan was, is and always will be a huge part of my life. He helped me accomplish things I never thought possible. He instilled confidence in me, held me accountable and motivated me to succeed. The importance of organization, preparation and a focus on the little things/details are just a few valuable life lessons that I took from my time playing for him. I left the Citadel a better person than I arrived due to Coach Jordan’s influence. I am forever grateful and congratulate him on an amazing career.”
-T.A. Fulmer, class of ’02
“Coach Jordan’s retirement brings a conclusion to his very successful career! Myself and the rest of my classmates are extremely proud to have played for him. He leaves behind a strong foundation for the next Coach to build on.”
-Chris Ard, class of ’05
“Coach instilled a mindset of hard work and effort will lead to success. It was more than just baseball. It was a mindset that allows his players to be successful in life and I benefit from that everyday.”