Jeff Long named AD at Kansas

Kansas named Jeff Long athletic director on Thursday, and he will be formally introduced July 11 in a press conference at KU.

Long was previously the athletic director at Arkansas and oversaw a department comprising 19 sports and 460 student-athletes from 2008 through 2017.

Long’s contract begins Aug. 1 and will pay him $1.5 million annually for five years. According to USA Today Sports, it includes a provision automatically extending the deal by the length of any probationary period for KU basketball. The program has been under investigation as part of the federal probe into alleged impermissible benefits and payments provided to recruits by Adidas.

“Jeff Long has tremendous leadership and administrative experience in major college athletics, and he is a terrific fit for Kansas Athletics as we work to ensure our student-athletes succeed on the field and in the classroom,” KU chancellor Douglas A. Girod said in a statement. “Those who know him describe him as a man of character who cares deeply about higher education and the student-athletes he serves. For all these reasons, we are thrilled to welcome him to the University of Kansas.”

Kansas fired Sheahon Zenger, who was hired in 2011, in May. After a seven-week search — led by Girod and KU alumnus Drue Jennings — the school made the move to hand Long the reins. Jennings served as interim AD in 2003.

“My family and I are thrilled to join Chancellor Girod’s leadership team at the University of Kansas,” Long said. “It was clear from the moment I met with the chancellor and his search committee members, they have a deep love for the university and understand and appreciate the positive role intercollegiate athletics plays in the university community. Through our conversations, it became evident we share a common belief that the student-athlete experience prepares young people for the challenges they will face throughout life. I am excited to work with the student-athletes, coaches, staff, the community of Lawrence and the incredible fan base to build on past success and create a shared vision for the future of Kansas Athletics.”