A new era of Kansas Athletics began Wednesday as University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod welcomed Jeff Long as the university’s new director of athletics during a news conference at the Lied Center Pavilion.
The news conference began with opening remarks by Girod and KU alumnus Drue Jennings, who headed the university’s search process. The pair summed up their seven-week search process which led to the introduction of Long — a national leader within intercollegiate athletics who has over 25 years of senior-level administration experience — as the 15th director of athletics at KU.
Long, joined by his wife, Fanny, and his two daughters, Stephanie and Christina, laid out his approach to elevating Kansas Athletics by putting the student-athlete first and creating a culture of competitive success.
Long brings more than two decades of experience in athletics administration at the Division I level, most recently at the University of Arkansas, where he led from 2008 through 2017. Additionally, Long served as the chairman of the inaugural College Football Playoff selection committee for 2014 and 2015 and remained a member of the committee through 2017.
Prior to leading Arkansas, Long served as athletics director at the University of Pittsburgh. He has held administrative roles at the University of Oklahoma, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech University, Eastern Kentucky University and Rice University. In total, he has been an athletic director and administrator in five of the six Bowl Championship Series conferences – the Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, Atlantic Coast and SEC.
A former quarterback, Long also held coaching staff positions at Duke University, the University of Michigan and North Carolina State University.
Long was originally announced as the university’s new director of athletics on July 5. He will begin his role August 1.