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Davidson Mourns the Loss of Hall of Fame Coach Charlie Slagle

by | Jul 9, 2019 | Sports

Then Davidson Wildcat Coach Matt Spear (Davidson ’93) hosted his Coach Charlie Slagle (Davidson ’74) in 2017 as Davidson honored the members of the 1992 Final Four team.


DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson College mourns the loss of former men’s soccer player and legendary coach Charlie Slagle ’74, who passed away Monday at the age of 67.

A goalkeeper for the Wildcats in the early 1970s, Slagle still holds the single-season record for saves. But it was his tenure as the team’s head coach, that earned him an induction into the Davidson Athletics Hall of Fame as he built up the program and brought the team to unexpected heights.

In his 21 seasons as the Wildcats’ head coach (1980-2000), Slagle posted a record of 209-202-31, easily the program’s all-time winningest coach. His 1992 squad, however, achieved the impossible, reaching the national semifinals and finishing the season ranked 16th in the coaches’ poll and 15th by Soccer America.

In addition, Slagle was also instrumental in bringing the NCAA Championship to Davidson, with the event first coming to campus in 1992, merging the two monumental accomplishments.

Coach Charlie Slagle (back row, left) returned to the Davidson College campus in September 2017 as the college recognized the 25th anniversary of Slagle’s 1992 Final Four team.

Seven times he was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year, twice the Regional Coach of the Year and once — in that magical 1992 season — the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year. Davidson won three SoCon regular-season titles and two tournament crowns during his 21 years at the helm.

Slagle also wore many hats for the Wildcats, serving a season as a head coach for women’s basketball, golf and baseball.

He is a member of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame and served as the President of the United Soccer Coaches from January 2017 through January 2018. The United Soccer Coaches is the largest coaching association in the world with over 30,000 members. 

A Memorial Service will be held at Davidson College Presbyterian Church (100 N. Main Street) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. Reception to follow in the Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers Building.

Matt Spear ’93
Former Player and Former Head Coach | Current President & General Manager of Richmond Kickers

Charlie was a true original. And he really cared about his mission and purpose for soccer, for Davidson and in Richmond. He threw the first pitch at the local pro baseball game and ran a coaches’ clinic in his last few days. He lived full on. Colorful personality, loved all people and was a loyal friend. Countless stories about him and so many levels of impact and moments of comedy. He was an over grown kid and I mean that in the best way. Part of whatever I contribute is due to his belief in me. And I am very focused on celebrating his life, achievements and spirit.

His 21 years as head coach at Davidson are naturally going to be highlighted most by the 1992 final four season and national coach of the year. But what Charlie would most desire to be known for would be the incredible people he recruited to Davidson, their growth while on campus, and the remarkable services and leadership they would take to the world. Charlie was a catalyst for mantras he engrained in me – shared aspirations, stronger together and exceeding potential.

And those that knew Charlie will most remember his smile, his friendly banter, and his love of events and competition. Charlie was a catalyst for joy.

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