CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Owner/Chief Executive Officer Carl Scheer on Thursday announced that Jeff Longo has been named President of the Checkers. The 28-year-old Longo will oversee every phase of the front office, reporting directly to Scheer and Checkers Owner/Chairman of the Board Felix Sabates.Longo comes to Charlotte after five years with the San Diego Gulls, formerly of the West Coast Hockey League and one of nine new members in the ECHL for 2003-04.
“We feel very fortunate to have Jeff join our organization. He is known among hockey circles as one of the outstanding young leaders in minor league hockey,” said Scheer. “Jeff came highly recommended to us from the ECHL office, who very much wanted to keep him in our league.”
Longo, who received his bachelor’s of arts degree in communications and psychology from Rutgers University, worked first as an intern and later in the media relations department with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League before joining the Gulls in 1997. Beginning as an account executive, he worked his way up the organizational ladder, serving as executive director of hockey operations and vice president before being named president in the summer of 2003.
“The city of Charlotte was certainly at the top of a short list of ECHL cities that I felt would be a good fit and offer the most positive opportunities. I’m excited about many of the market similarities that exist between San Diego and Charlotte and the extensive hockey history and solid fan base,” said Longo. “My focus will be to help our talented staff expand that base and establish Checkers hockey as the top sports entertainment value in the city. The opportunity to work with Mr. Scheer, who has achieved so much in this industry, and to be able to learn from his experience is also particularly inviting.”
San Diego led the WCHL in attendance in each of Longo’s six seasons with the organization, averaging almost 7,000 fans per game, including 10 crowds of 11,000. The Gulls were twice named “Organization of the Year” by the WCHL and won three WCHL Championships while Longo was named “Volunteer of the Year” by the North Bay Association in 2002.