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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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Longtime men’s lacrosse head coach announces retirement

Jeff+Long%2C+head+coach+of+the+mens+lacrosse+team+and+former+assistant+coach+for+the+womens+soccer+team%2C+announced+his+retirement+June+1+after+serving+the+program+for+36+seasons.
ANA MANIACI MCGOUGH
Jeff Long, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team and former assistant coach for the women’s soccer team, announced his retirement June 1 after serving the program for 36 seasons.

Ithaca College announced June 1 that Jeff Long, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, has retired after 36 seasons with the program. Long also served 31 seasons as an assistant coach for the college’s women’s soccer team.

During his time with the men’s lacrosse program, Long has racked up an impressive 362 wins, landing him in 11th place on the all-time leaderboard of collegiate lacrosse across all divisions. Long said his time on South Hill has been an unforgettable experience.

“With 31 seasons of women’s soccer and 36 seasons of men’s lacrosse under my belt, I could not ask for anything more from Ithaca College,” Long said in the statement. “I walk away with fond memories, forever relationships, extremely proud of being a Bomber, and with no regrets.”

An alum of the United States Naval Academy, Long was a three-time All-American lacrosse player before his graduation in 1977 and still holds the program record for career points and assists. Following his collegiate career, Long earned spots on the U.S. national teams in 1978 and 1986 — ultimately solidifying his induction into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009. 

Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, said in the announcement that Long’s contributions to athletics on campus have been invaluable and that his work ethic has built two highly respected programs.

“I know that his effort was as high on his first day coaching as his last,” Bassett said in the statement. “There was no assignment that did not get his full and immediate attention. I know that everyone in Bomber nation wishes Coach Long and his family all the best in this next chapter of his life. … Personally, I am grateful that my life journey crossed paths with Jeff Long.”

During Long’s time with the women’s soccer team, the Bombers advanced into the NCAA tournament for 13 consecutive years from 2003–15, making national semifinal appearances in the 1998 and 2011 seasons. 

Junior attackman Kyle Proctor said it was because of Long’s dedicated coaching that his time with the men’s lacrosse program has been incredibly formative both on and off the field. 

“Coach Long is a legend in the lacrosse world and it was an absolute pleasure for me and my teammates to be able to learn from him about lacrosse and about life in general … we have all grown not only as lacrosse players but as young men,” Proctor said. “He taught us how to have thick skin and how to handle adversity as a group. … He knew how to make us bring a different intensity to the lacrosse field and brought the best out of us.”

Despite competing in one of the most competitive conferences in Division III lacrosse with the Liberty League, Long established a program that could hang with consistently top-seeded opponents and national championship contenders. 

Prior to joining the league in 2018, the Bombers were a force to be reckoned with in the Empire 8. Long earned Empire 8 Coach of the Year honors on six separate occasions, leading the team to four conference titles and the No. 1 ranking in the USILA Poll in 2016.

Proctor continued that he and his teammates look forward to bringing everything they have learned from Long into the remainder of their collegiate careers. 

“Many of us felt like we had a lot to prove to him, and we look to make him proud as he follows our careers as a fan,” Proctor said. “We have learned a lot from him and I’m personally excited to bring that intensity and grit to the next era of Ithaca lacrosse.”

Long said, overall, he owes his thanks to each of his dedicated student-athletes, and that he looks forward to watching the program continue to grow.

“I want to thank all the student-athletes who I have had the opportunity to recruit and coach over the years,” Long said in the statement. “We’ve shared every emotion that exists. We’ve traveled every path imaginable. We’ve overcome every obstacle that stood in our way. We’ve grown stronger, together. Here’s to the next chapter in all our lives.”

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Tess Ferguson
Tess Ferguson, Former Sports Editor
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