Athletic directors, other prominent figures in college athletics weigh in on new KU AD Jeff Long

photo by: (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

FILE — Bowl Championship Series executive director Bill Hancock, left, and former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, chairman of the College Football Playoff Committee, announce the 12 members selected to the committee during a news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Irving, Texas. The University of Kansas announced Long as its new athletic director on July 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

When chancellor Douglas A. Girod named Jeff Long the new athletic director at the University of Kansas on Thursday, the announcement came accompanied by comments from many prominent figures throughout college athletics who have crossed paths with the former Arkansas AD.

From other Big 12 athletic directors, to a renowned former college football coach, to conference commissioners, here is what some had to say about Long, who signed a five-year contract with KU.

Joe Castiglione, vice president and director of athletics at the University of Oklahoma:

“Jeff Long is a proven leader and one of the most respected athletics directors throughout the national landscape of intercollegiate athletics. I congratulate Chancellor Girod and KU leadership for making a fantastic hire. Speaking from experience, I know Jeff is a ‘big-picture thinker’ and has always been committed to creating a values-driven culture where student-athletes’ development and success is the focus. To achieve his vision for the overall program, he will reach out and connect with all stakeholders to get them involved in making things happen. I’m excited to work with him in the Big 12, and I know our conference will benefit from his input.”

Lloyd Carr, former head football coach at the University of Michigan and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame:

“Jeff Long is very smart and very fair. He is also very tough and very competitive. Kansas got it right. Great choice.”

Condoleezza Rice, chair of the Commission on College Basketball, member of the College Football Playoff selection committee and former U.S. Secretary of State:

“Jeff Long is a skilled administrator and a person of integrity. I was fortunate to serve with him on the College Football Playoff committee. He was our chairman and respected by all. Jeff cares deeply about student-athletes — and their success in the classroom and on the playing field. The University of Kansas has made a great choice. Good luck to Jeff and the Jayhawks.”

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff:

“KU couldn’t have hired a better person. Jeff has a warm heart, solid judgment and a world of experience. Get ready, everyone, because you will love this guy.”

Bob Bowlsby, commissioner, Big 12 Conference:

“Jeff Long will be an excellent addition to the Big 12. Jeff is a veteran administrator who has achieved at the very highest levels and who understands the components of championship athletics programs.”

Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech University athletic director and former chair of the College Football Playoff selection committee:

“I am excited to welcome my good friend Jeff Long to the Big 12 Conference. I have known Jeff for more than 20 years, and he has always exemplified the very highest standards of character and integrity in every situation. I enjoyed working alongside Jeff on the College Football Playoff selection committee, and I congratulate Chancellor Girod and the University of Kansas on an excellent decision.”

Steve Hatchell, executive director, National Football Foundation:

“I commend the University of Kansas for naming Jeff Long as its new athletic director. He epitomizes every quality that is crucial to an athletics director today — vision, mission-oriented goal planning, a terrific work ethic and a vast range of experiences at many levels. He knows the Big 12 well and will make it his commitment to make KU as strong as it can be. His experience level is critical in the changing environment of collegiate athletics today. Jeff is exactly what KU needs today and into the future. He is not only an exceptional athletic director but a good person as well, with a great family. We are so happy for him and the University of Kansas. Well done, Jayhawks.”

Jed Hughes, consultant, Korn Ferry executive search firm:

“Jeff Long is a seasoned athletics leader who has worked with Hall of Fame executives Bo Schembechler, Joe Castiglione and Frank Beamer, and who succeeded the legendary Frank Broyles at Arkansas. He brings more than 16 years of experience in leading Power Five programs. The University of Kansas has the potential, based on its donor base, new chancellor and an elite basketball brand, to make a bold statement on the national landscape under Jeff’s leadership. He will ignite the stakeholders and help rally the Jayhawk nation to a highly competitive position within the Power Five conferences. Alumni and fans will see this hire as a strong step toward achieving excellence.”

Greg Sankey, commissioner, Southeastern Conference:

“Jeff Long will bring integrity, energy and a relentless work ethic to his new position at KU. He has made meaningful contributions while serving and leading as athletics director at Eastern Kentucky, Pittsburgh and Arkansas, and he was a valued colleague during my transition to the SEC commissioner role. I wish he and Fanny all the best in this new chapter for their family.”

Joe Parker, director of athletics, Colorado State University:

“Jeff Long is an extremely talented leader in higher education and recognized as one of the nation’s best. His uncompromising focus on integrity, deep commitment to the student-athlete experience, understanding of the collegiate sports landscape and ability to build authentic relationships provides a powerful springboard to advance Kansas Athletics.”


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