Jeff Long is out at UofA

Rachel Hardy
November 16, 2017

In a media release around 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz announced Jeff Long will no longer serve in his position effective today. The disappointing season led the university to not retain Smith as head coach and the new search began. But Bielema is just 29-32 as Razorbacks coach, and the team is 4-6 this season.

"As much as Jeff Long has accomplished, and [Razorback football coach] Bret Bielema for that matter, when it comes to salvaging the reputation and boosting the reputation of the program from an academic standpoint, if you can't win enough and you don't put enough butts in seats, then you can't sustain the program from an economic standpoint", Demirel said. "People prepped me before I got on the phone call that there might be a question, but I haven't received any official notification". But I know this, winning ball games helps everybody, so that's all I'm focused on.

"(He's been) awesome, not for me as the head coach, of course he has been, but for our student-athletes", Bielema said. A $10.65 million gift from the family of former Razorback and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the largest gift to athletics in more than two decades, transformed an already nationally recognized program into one that rivals any in the country. In 2015-16, Arkansas finished among the top 30 in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup for the eighth time in nine years, including the top 25 for the seventh time in that span.

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Bielema would not comment on the status of his athletic director when asked by reporters Wednesday.

Despite his firing, playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said he invited Long to remain a member of the selection committee for the rest of his term through the end of this season - an invitation Long accepted. A native of the region, Peoples holds a master's degree from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Missouri State University.

Stay with THV11 and for more details as they become available.

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