In Part 3 of our series, we will be profiling Jeff Long, the current Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. Long is another name we keep hearing for the AD position. He is viewed by many as highly qualified and as one of the few top candidates. Here is his profile.
Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletic
Years active at current position:
Long completed his degree in economics in 1982 from Ohio Weslyn University. He later received a master’s in education at Miami of Ohio in 1983.
His career in college athletic administration began at the University of Michigan, when he was hired by legendary coach and athletic director Bo Schembechler. During his seasons with the Wolverines, Long was promoted to associate athletic director. Long has more than two decades of experience in athletic administration at the Division I level, including the University of Oklahoma, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech University and Eastern Kentucky University, prior to his dual positions at the University of Arkansas.
Before arriving at Pittsburgh, Long was senior associate athletic director at Oklahoma for two and a half years. In addition, Long was the primary administrator for the Sooners’ highly successful football and men’s basketball programs, along with sport supervision of baseball, wrestling and both golf teams.
Long created the first modern corporate partner and sponsorship structure at Eastern Kentucky. At Pittsburgh, his four-year tenure added up to Pittsburgh becoming one of the nation’s top programs, which peaked with the Panthers’ selection as the No. 17 overall program in the nation in the December 2006 Sports Illustrated on Campus’ All-Sport Rankings.
Currently, Arkansas football is 4-5. Last year they went 3-9. Arkansas basketball went 22-12 last year and finished up in the NIT second round. Before that they went 19-13. Arkansas baseball finished up 15th in the coaches ranking in 2013. They had a record of 39-22. In 2012, the baseball team was ranked third in the AP poll and went 46-22. That same team ended up going to the college world series. Long has been innovative in his tenures at various colleges and his programs have usually had athletic success.
During the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 seasons, baseball had an APR of 964. In 2011-2012, the football team’s APR was 938 and last year it was at 935. The basketball team had an APR of 951 in 2011-2012. Last year it went down to 937. It should be noted that the basketball team APR has risen drastically since Long has been AD. Also of note is that as of last year Arkansas has graduated 74 % of its student-athletes. In addition, Razorback student-athletes posted a record grade point average of 3.09.
During his years at Pittsburgh, Long constructed a “Quest for Excellence” campaign. Designed to enhance the student-athlete experience for Panthers athletes through scholarship endowments and capital gifts for facility construction and renovation, the Quest resulted in almost $34 million in just over two and a half years.
In 2005, Long dedicated a new Olympic sports weight room at Fitzgerald Field House as well as training facilities for gymnastics and wrestling. When he departed Pittsburgh, Long had plans for new competition venues for baseball, softball, soccer and track and field, plus enhancements for the Pitt Band.
An Ohio native from Kettering, Long is married to the former Fanny Gellrich of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Long hired controversial football coach Bobby Petrino in 2008 and later fired Petrino in 2012. The firing followed revelations that Petrino had been in an extramarital affair with a former Arkansas volleyball player. Long ended up firing Petrino.
Bret Bielema (football) and Mike Anderson (basketball)
In October 2013, Long was announced as the first chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, which will rank college football teams in order to select teams for the first ever college football playoff. On the forefront of NCAA governance, Long served on the NCAA Management Council as one of the athletic administrators who oversaw the operations and regulation for Division I athletics.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of our profiling series where we will highlight candidate Jim Phillips.
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