Super Teacher, Super Coach: Jodi Longo


Coach Jodi Longo signals Captain Taryn Facenda to home base. (Photo courtesy of Jodi Longo)

Frankie LoPresti, Editor

When it comes to spring sports, softball is one of the most popular. Of course, it’s impossible to mention the sport without mentioning the spunky coach at the center. That would be Jodi Longo, the ever-smiling gym teacher, health teacher, and softball coach.
Longo said she was introduced to softball at a young age as her father played in many softball leagues. Eventually, she began to learn to play the sport and play it well.
“Softball has always been a love of mine,” she said. “It has been a part of who I am and my life for as long as I can remember.”
Throughout all four years at Bloomfield High School, Longo played soccer, basketball and softball, earning First and Second All State Teams Group 4, as well as All-Essex County Conference Teams for third base and pitching.
Longo’s softball career continued after high school, earning a scholarship to St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. Longo was not a single-sport athlete in college; she played club soccer her sophomore and junior years as well.
“Having the opportunity to play in college is an amazing opportunity and privilege,” she said.
After graduating from St. Peter’s with a Bachelor’s in Science Psychology, completing her Master’s in Teaching, and earning her certificate in Health and Physical Education, Longo worked as a graduate assistant softball coach at Montclair State, where she was responsible for the pitchers and catchers.
In the year 2000, she began her teaching career in health and physical education at James Caldwell High School, where she also coached cross country, freshman girls basketball and softball for 15 years before transferring to Warren Hills in 2016.
“Teaching at James Caldwell High School was a great first teaching and coaching experience,” she said. “It provided me with a good foundation to be able to grow professionally.”
The 2022 Softball Season is Longo’s fifth season at Warren Hills. She said it’s going very well.
“We have a great group of ladies, very coachable and wanting to get better,” she said. “I’m so proud to have both teams moving in the right direction and hopefully have a freshman team as well.”
When asked to recall a favorite coaching memory, Longo was quick to respond.
“Being Valley Division Champs last year was a great experience and accomplishment,” she said.
Longo’s advice for all student-athletes can be applied both on and off the field.
“You can only control your actions. The discipline, hard work and dedication you put in day in and day out is your decision, your effort. Make the choice to work hard every time you pick up a ball, bat or whatever sport or activity you participate in,” she said. “We cannot control the weather, the officials, or even other teammates, but you can make a positive difference in those things you can control. Being a part of a team is one of the most beneficial decisions you can make to teach you life lessons.”