FAYETTEVILLE, ARK — Arkansas Athletics Director and Vice Chancellor Jeff Long has been fired.
The University is expected to make a formal announcement later on Wednesday, but multiple credible sources (KARK, KTHV, ESPN) have reported that the firing is all but official.
Though it is still officially speculation that his tenure is up as the Arkansas head football coach, this can’t be good news for Bret Bielema. He will likely remain the head coach for the remaining two games due to the details of his contract and buyout, but don’t expect his career at Arkansas to last very long after the final whistle of the Missouri game Thanksgiving weekend.
If this is truly the end of the Jeff Long era, we might as well take a look back at his resume. For the sake of this argument, we will only be looking at the football program, since it is obvious that this decision is not based on the successes of the basketball programs, track programs or any other sport at the university.
Football Record Under Jeff Long (Since 2008):
- 67-57 (.540) Overall
- 32-46 (.410) Southeastern Conference
Jeff Long/Bret Bielema Era (Since 2013):
- 29-32 (.475) Overall
- 11-27 (.289) Southeastern Conference
The silver-lining of the Long era may be the bowl record, as the Razorbacks went 4-2 (on the field*) in bowl games during his tenure. The Hogs won the Liberty Bowl (twice), the Cotton Bowl and the Texas Bowl, but fell in the Sugar Bowl* and the Belk Bowl.
What does this decision mean for the future of Arkansas football? A fresh start. Will it be rocky? Yes. Will it take some time to recover? Of course. Will it all be worth it in the end? That one may be tougher to answer.
To all the fans that have been waiting for this news, rejoice. For all of those who have been dreading it, keep your head up. Perhaps this is the first step in making the Razorbacks great again. Woo Pig forever.
*The 2011 Sugar Bowl win for Ohio State was vacated by the NCAA after an investigation into the program.
-Featured image via HeroSports.com-