Coach Dobbins Becomes Hall of Famer

Alexandra Garrison and Caylan Harrison

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Nearly 21 years ago, Coach Charlie Dobbins helped to build the William Peace University softball team from the ground up, as it was non-existent before he came to campus. Still standing to this day, Peace softball continues to grow with Coach Dobbins still leading as head coach. 

In recognition of not only the great work that he has done with the softball program on campus, but also for being an outstanding contributor to softball programs throughout the state, Coach Dobbins was honored and inducted into the North Carolina USA Softball Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 1, in Burlington, NC.

Most states have a state hall of fame of some sort, making it a tradition for coaches in each state. Typically, those inducted include professional coaches and very few college coaches, making this a great honor for Coach Dobbins, who has been at Peace since 1998.

“Five AD’s and four presidents later and I’m still standing,” said Dobbins, referring to the number of athletic directors he worked under. 

The current athletic director, Thomas Curle, said Dobbin’s dedication has benefitted Peace. 

“Anytime a coach is recognized for an honor as prestigious as a Hall of Fame induction, it benefits the athletic department and the college,” said Curle. “We are very proud of Coach Dobbins and this honor. We all benefit from his loyalty to the softball program and its student-athletes, the athletic department, and William Peace University.”

As a Hall of Famer, he is proud to have been awarded and recognized and is looking forward to continuing to contribute to softball programs across the state, but more importantly at Peace. As an honoree, Coach Dobbins was awarded his own plaque to keep in his campus office, as well as one to hang in the Hall of Fame. 

His contribution started nearly 25 years ago when he moved to NC from Connecticut and got involved with coaching recreational and travel ball, where he won three state championships at the 14/16U level and three national championships at the 18u level. Then he served as head coach at Saint David’s High School for two years. He was a player himself before coaching and got to travel for 17 years around the world playing the game that he loves.

This all led him to becoming head coach for Peace now, coming up on 21 years, and serving on the NCAA National Committee for six years. All of this was taken into consideration when he was nominated and later inducted for the award. 

“Those are all a part of things that I kind of brought along,” said Dobbins.

Dobbins has brought a lot to the table helping to develop not only the softball program on campus, but also the overall athletic department. He has had over 400 wins as head coach, has helped host the Softball National Championships twice (Peace being the only university in the state to do this), and has continued to bring in new and developing student-athletes and ideas to the athletic department. 

“We’re not a young athletic department anymore, we’ve got history, we’ve got those kind of things going for us which is important when you’re recruiting,” said Dobbins. “We started a little program and now we are competitive in this region.” 

One could even say that the development of athletics over the years, with Coach Dobbins’ help, has led to not only more recruitment for the softball program, but also overall recruitment and increased admissions to the university, as Dobbins recognizes that a growing percentage of WPU students are athletes. 

“I think if you talked with admissions now, athletics is a huge part of the university’s plan for growth and how things in the future will go forward,” said Dobbins.   

Curle says the Hall of Fame induction will also help in that effort.

“Coach Dobbins’ HOF recognition should certainly assist in the recruitment of softball players,” said Curle. “Other sports may not benefit directly, but I believe that this recognition can show some of our younger coaches that if you ‘Believe in Peace’ over your career, then great things can happen for your program and you.”

 

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