Jeff Long out as University of Arkansas athletics director

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer Sports

Jeff Long is no longer employed as the athletics director at the University of Arkansas, UA Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz announced on Wednesday.

Long served as AD and Vice Chancellor for 10 years after taking over for Frank Broyles in 2008.

Steinmetz said the change wad made “after great deliberation, discussion, and thought” after consultation with the Board of Trustees and President Donald R. Bobbitt.

From Steinmetz’ statement:

Since coming to Fayetteville in 2008, Jeff has led our department with character and integrity and helped move us forward in so many ways. However, over the past year, Jeff has lost the support of many of our fans, alumni, key supporters, and members of the university leadership, support that I believe is critical in our pursuit of excellence. I want to thank Jeff for his commitment and service to our University and to the State of Arkansas and, on behalf of the Razorback Family, I want to wish Jeff and his family all of the best in the future.

Long has come under fire in recent years due in no small part to Arkansas’ poor performance on the football field. Arkansas is 4-6, and 1-5 in SEC play this season. Some of his head coaching hires in recent years have also drawn scrutiny. Long’s hires of Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith, current head coach Bret Bielema, along with Jimmy Dykes as women’s basketball coaches haven’t worked out well for the program.

Long had been widely praised, however, for his dealing with the firing of Petrino. He was named national AD of the year in 2013 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

Long also previously served as chair of the inaugural College Football Playoff committee, and was named to the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey earlier this year.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Senior Associate Athletics Director Julie Cromer Peoples will serve as interim AD.

According to the press release, the UA will “honor the provisions of Long’s contract,” which runs through June 30, 2022.