Former Virginia Tech head baseball coach Chuck Hartman received another in a long, long list of accolades when a local civic group placed a bench with a plaque commemorating Hartman’s career along a walking, running and biking trail across the street from English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park.
The plaque on the bench reads, “Placed by players and alumni to honor Coach Chuck Hartman, Head Coach at Virginia Tech for 28 years. His 1,444 career wins at retirement were the fourth most in NCAA Division 1 baseball history and he is in five Halls of Fame.”
Friends of the Huckleberry, a group that works to place amenities along the popular Huckleberry Trail that runs from Blacksburg to Christiansburg, positioned the bench on the portion of the trail that runs parallel to Southgate Drive, one of the main arteries into campus. It sits next to the stadium where Hartman won a good portion of his 961 wins during his long stint as the Hokies’ baseball coach.
The group coordinated an informal ceremony to dedicate the bench to Hartman’s career achievements on the Friday before the Rhode Island game. Hartman, who turns 85 in December, attended the event along with former assistant coach J. Phillips and several former Virginia Tech baseball players.
Hartman won 1,444 games as a head coach – a 47 season career that included a 19-year tenure at High Point and 28 seasons at Tech. He became the all-time winningest baseball coach in Tech history in 1987, and his 961 wins at Tech are the most by any head coach in any sport in the university’s history. His Hall of Fame inductions include the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2004), the NAIA Hall of Fame (1989), the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame (2002), the Gaston County (N.C) and Guilford County (N.C.) halls of fame (1979 and 2001), and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (2018)..
Hartman’s No. 1 baseball jersey was retired Sept. 22, 2006. He became the first member of the Tech baseball program ever to have his number retired.