Greg Long, a former assistant coach at the University of Central Arkansas, has been named the new head coach for the women’s basketball team at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. UAM Athletic Director Padraic McMeel made the announcement today.
“I am truly excited to have Greg, his wife Jill, and their daughter, Aubree join the UAM Athletics Family,” McMeel said in a news release. “Greg brings a tremendous wealth of recruiting experience and teaching to this position and is extremely familiar with Southeastern Arkansas.”
McMeel said Long’s “personality, drive, and passion for developing young women” on the court, in the classroom and in life, were evident in each of their conversations. “We talk about ‘Winners Win’, to win in everything we do and Greg has had success in each of his previous coaching stops,” McMeel said. “I know Greg will continue to build on the foundation set forth by Coach Ray as well as the tremendous history of Cotton Blossoms basketball.”
Prior to coaching at UCA, Long coached at Delta State and was a successful high school coach.
“The University of Arkansas at Monticello has a rich basketball tradition and I am excited for the opportunity to lead the women’s basketball program,” Long said. “My family and I are thrilled to be a part of the Monticello family and community. I believe our brand of basketball will be fun to watch and our players will be great representatives for the community. I want the thank Chancellor Karla Hughes and Padraic McMeel for the chance to leave my mark here at UAM.”
During his four seasons at UCA, the women’s basketball team won the program’s first two NCAA Tournament berths and Southland Conference Tournament championships, along with a Southland regular-season championship and the program’s first national postseason tournament victories as the Sugar Bears advanced to the championship game of the 2018 WBI.
Following a 54-9 mark with the back-to-back titles in his first two seasons, Long was promoted to associate head coach following the 2016-17 season.
Long’s impact on the program was immediate. In his first season, the team saw an 11-game improvement over the previous season in putting together one of the greatest seasons in program history. In 2017-18, he went 3-0 as interim head coach while filling in for head coach Sandra Rushing – including dealing Southland champion Lamar its only loss of the 18-game conference season.
In his three seasons in Conway, the Sugar Bears finished each regular season in the national Top 10 in scoring defense – ranking 9th in 2016, 4th in 2017 and finished the year ranked 2nd in 2018 with a Southland Conference record 50.9 points per game allowed.
Prior to UCA, Long was at Delta State as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator. While at Delta State, the Lady Statesmen were ranked No. 1 in the nation, made back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances, won consecutive conference championships, and had a .820 winning percentage. He helped to develop three all-Americans, seven all-region players, seven all-conference players, and the Preseason National Player of the Year in NCAA Division II.
Prior to Delta State, Long was a successful high school coach in his hometown of Ocala, Florida, first as an assistant coach for the boys team at Ocala Forest High where he helped guide the team to their first winning season in more than a decade, then as a head coach at Trinity Catholic. At Trinity Catholic, his teams improved from eight to 22 wins from his first to the second season, winning a district title en route to a Sweet 16 showing in the state tournament an a Top 15 ranking in state media polls. His teams also excelled in the classroom, recording a 3.4 GPA to rank 4th in the state in Class 3A.
Long returned to Trinity Catholic in 2013 as the head coach of the girls program, immediately guiding the team to a district championship and state playoff appearance as they finished 23-6 in a season in which they became the first girls team in Florida history to be named National Team of the Week by Maxpreps.com.
Long’s coaching career began as a student assistant for the women’s program during his time at Delta State, where he graduated Cum Laude in 2005 with a bachelor’s in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
He played collegiate ball at Chowan College under head coach Bob Burke, who retired as the third-winningest coach in North Carolina collegiate history behind Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski and was an associate head coach at Hawaii and an assistant for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. Long played high school basketball at Vanguard High School under legendary Florida high school coach Jim Haley, who compiled 655 wins and three state championships. In 1997, Long played on Haley’s final team to be ranked No. 1 in the state and made a run to the Elite 8 en route to a 21-11 record for the season.
Long is married to the former Jill Trimmer of Marietta, Georgia. They have one daughter, Aubree.