ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University Vice President for Student Affairs and Intercollegiate Athletics Sam Ferguson announced an interim head coach for McMurry Women’s Basketball on Thursday, naming Drew Long to lead the program.
Formerly the Deputy Director of Athletics for Internal Operations at Abilene Christian University for six years, Long leaves his administration role to rejoin the coaching ranks.
Prior to ACU, Long worked as an NCAA Division I men’s basketball assistant coach with stops at the University of Colorado (2007-10) and the United States Air Force Academy (2010-15). He also has NCAA Division III experience, serving as the sole assistant at Southwestern University during the 2006-07 season.
He also spent one season at Faith West Academy in Houston as the director of athletics and head boys’ basketball coach, leading the team to a 26-9 record in 2015-16.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Coach Long and his family to the McMurry Community,” said Ferguson. “I have known him for three years and have grown to admire him for many reasons. Coach Long reflects our War Hawks R.I.S.E. values and is committed to Developing Champions for Life. He’s coached great players at the Division III level and at college basketball’s highest level. Those experiences will serve as an asset to our scholar-athletes. However, I am most impressed by his care for others, and as a father of three girls, he will be a strong advocate for our team. It’s a blessing to have him leading our program!”
At ACU, Long was responsible for the internal operations of the department, including game day operations, facility management and construction, as well as administrative oversight of many of ACU’s athletic programs.
On the court, Long’s roles as an assistant at Air Force included coordinating and implementing the offense, managing and organizing the program’s recruiting database and serving as the program’s liaison to the compliance office, among other duties. At CU, he was responsible for player development, game preparation and recruiting.
He also worked as CU’s men’s basketball operations coordinator and video coordinator prior to his promotion to assistant coach. His year of coaching at Southwestern included recruiting duties, on-court workouts, game prep and video editing.
Long – a former student-athlete at Northwestern University – said he is excited to make his return to basketball in the The Big Country.
“Words cannot express how grateful I am to continue my coaching career here in Abilene,” said Long. “My family and I love this city, and we are excited to join the War Hawk family. I want to thank Sam Ferguson and Dr. (Sandra) Harper for the opportunity to lead the women’s basketball program. I can’t wait to get started.”
A Houston native, Long graduated from Northwestern in 2004 with a degree in communications. He lettered two seasons on the Wildcats’ basketball team for head coach Bill Carmody. After graduation, he served as the director of operations for the Houston Swoosh AAU organization and went on to coach a variety of youth basketball teams and clinics across the state of Texas.
Long and his wife, Dr. Melissa Long, currently reside in Abilene and have three daughters: Alice, Christie and Emery.
What they are saying about Coach Long…
“Drew was very instrumental in the success we had at Colorado, helping pave the way for the future of CU Basketball. His knowledge and experience as a player and a coach has prepared him extremely well for this moment. McMurry couldn’t have made a better choice. Drew is the definition of integrity and professionalism, and I know he will have great success.”
- Jeff Bzdelik, New Orleans Pelicans Associate Head Coach and former Denver Nuggets and Colorado University Head Coach
“I am thrilled for Drew to have the opportunity to be the next head women’s basketball coach at McMurry. He is a man of character and integrity who brings a wealth of college coaching experience and will no doubt hit the ground running. He will also be a team player who will work hard to bring value to the entire department. We can credit quite a few improvements and additions in the ACU athletic department to the forward thinking of Drew in his position as our associate athletic director. McMurry hit a home run with this hire and has also added a tremendous family to their community. We wish Drew nothing but the best.”
- Julie Goodenough, Abilene Christian University Women’s Basketball Head Coach
“Drew Long is a phenomenal hire by McMurry! I’ve known Drew for more than 25 years, and he is a man of incredible faith, integrity and passion for the game of basketball. He’s an outstanding coach and leader, and I know that he will make a huge impact for the War Hawks – on and off the court.”
- Lee De León, Louisiana University Deputy Director of Athletics
“What an exciting day for McMurry Women’s Basketball. Drew was a big reason for our success in building a championship program at Abilene Christian. He has great experience in the game of basketball at many different levels where he has been very successful. There is no doubt in my mind that he will build a winning program that will make all associated with McMurry proud. Congrats to McMurry on a great hire and to Drew and his family.”
- Joe Golding, UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“Drew has been a huge part of our success here at Abilene Christian. He has truly been a part of our basketball family, and we are sad to see him go. At the same time, we are extremely excited for him and his family. He is going to be great for McMurry, and I’m ready to watch him take that program to new heights.”
- Brette Tanner, Abilene Christian University Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“Drew is a tireless worker who is passionate about the game of basketball and intentional about making a positive impact on student-athletes. Having worked alongside him the last several years, I’ve taken note of the ways he has kept in touch with his former players and continues to be a mentor to them. We’ve been fortunate to have him as an administrator because he always knows what the coaches are thinking and understands what the day-to-day of our program looks like. Drew’s varied experiences in athletics will be an asset to McMurry Women’s Basketball. I have no doubt he’ll run a program that sets student-athletes up for success on the court, in the classroom and in their future pursuits.”
- Erika Lambert, Abilene Christian University Women’s Basketball Associate Head Coach