Athletics // 11.18.17
Charleston Southern unveiled the new signage that will grace the Bagwell-Settle Track Complex on Saturday morning in a pregame ceremony prior to the Buccaneers football game against Liberty.
CSU unveiled two new signs under the scoreboard in the south end zone to recognize Howard Bagwell Sr. and James C. Settle and their accomplishments during their time at CSU. A 32' x 6' sign faces University Blvd, while a 20' x 4' sign hangs underneath the board facing the grandstands.
Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, CSU President opened the ceremony commenting on the day and the impact of wanting to create the new signage to recognize the CSU Hall of Famers.
"It's a great day," Dr. Jairy Hunter, CSU President said. "One of the things I've had on my bucket list over the last five years has been to do this for Howard (Bagwell) and Jim (Settle). This day is one of the best days to honor the heritage of our school and to honor the people who came to the school. A lot of people have had their lives changed in a very positive way thanks to the coaches and athletic director who have had an impact on their lives."
Athletic Director Hank Small reflected on the accomplishments and credentials of both Bagwell and Settle and the time he was able to spend with both coaches.
"One of the joys I had when I first got here was going to high school football games with Coach Bagwell," Small said. "The first thing I could see was that everybody knows Howie Bagwell. He introduced me around and I greatly appreciated that. The other thing I saw was that he had an unbelievable love and loyalty to his family and I appreciated that so much."
He continued, "The thing that during my tenure that I've seen so much is that was clear to me, was that both of these coaches were great competitors; they wanted to win. More than that, their athletes enjoyed the experience of winning and developing into men and women that won at life. They were great advocates of their athletes; that was so clear to me. I think our athletes greatly appreciated, admired, and respected all of their efforts on their behalf."
Howie Bagwell spoke on his father's legacy, and the pride he feels at seeing the sign posted to remember the accomplishments and dedication both Howard Bagwell Sr. and Jim Settle had to CSU.
"It's given me so much pleasure to see it grow from what it was back when it was Baptist College to what it is today at Charleston Southern University," Bagwell said. "I see Dad's stamp all over this campus everywhere, from the gym, the lake, the athletic fields, and this track complex. It makes me so proud to see what he has done to develop this program into what it is. This is a tremendous way for us to honor him and to have his legacy go on by having a sign posted here today to recognize dad and Jim for their accomplishments and to their dedication to this school and university."
Ross Settle mentioned the teamwork and camaraderie between Howard and Jim left a lasting legacy to him and what it meant to him to see his father honored with the signage.
"Howard Bagwell and Jim Settle were a really great team," Settle said. "Not only were they a team, they were family to us. We went to church together; we had meals together. Today the new signage that shows their accomplishments means a lot to me. It is a big honor for my father and family. They did so many things behind the scenes to help make the track program what it was. Dad was here 39 years, I believe, and that is a tremendous amount of dedication, time and effort. He loves this school; we love this school. From the Settle family, thank you so much for honoring our family."
Bagwell served as a track coach, a men's basketball coach and the Director of Athletics at CSU during a career that spanned 35 years at CSU (1965-2000). He led then Baptist College from an NAIA school to NCAA Division I status, increasing the school's sports sponsorship from five to 18.
Bagwell compiled a 263-47 record as a track coach and a 27-16 record as men's basketball coach. Bagwell was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. He also served 14 years on Dorchester County School Board. Bagwell was a co-founder of the Big South Conference, and the Big South Player of the Year Award was created and named for Bagwell.
Settle came to Baptist College as assistant cross country and assistant track coach in 1965, quickly developing the program into one of the finest in the Southeast. He worked hand-in-hand with Coach Howard Bagwell as an assistant and then later as the head coach, coaching multiple All-Americans, including 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist Charlie Simpkins.
After four years out of coaching, Settle returned as head coach in 1985 and promptly led the men's track team to an outstanding 29-0 record. The 1986 team followed up with a 31-4 record. All total, the Baptist College/Charleston Southern men's track program posted 313 victories against only 62 defeats from 1966-92. This included five undefeated seasons. Settle is a member of the Charleston Southern Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Bagwell-Settle Track Complex hosted the 2010 and 2017 Big South Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships.