UAM

University of Arkansas at Monticello women's basketball head coach Greg Long will take a similar position at Mississippi College.

University of Arkansas at Monticello women's basketball head coach Greg Long has accepted a position to be the head coach for Mississippi College women's basketball.

The change comes after a single season at the helm of the Cotton Blossoms that broke records and led the team to a Great American Conference Tournament Championship Final.

"I would like to thank Greg Long for his contributions to UAM women's basketball, UAM and the Monticello community. He made an immediate positive impact on our program with an incredible 20-win season and a trip to the GAC Championship game," said Padraic McMeel, director of athletics, Padraic McMeel.

"Greg has left the program in better shape than when he arrived and helped establish a foundation for future success. I wish Greg, Jill and family the best in their new adventure and they will always be a part of the Weevil and Blossom Family."

In his first and only season with UAM, Long and the Blossoms proved everyone wrong. After being picked 12th in the GAC Preseason Poll, the team concluded the year with a 20-11 overall record and a 13-9 GAC mark, and made it all the way to the GAC Championship Tournament Final.

It was UAM's first 20-win season since 1997-98 and for Long, the 20 wins tied him for the most victories by a Division II first-year head coach.

The Blossoms also had several other records shattered in Long's first year. They started the year 7-0 for the first time since 1976-77, they were nationally ranked for the first time since joining the NCAA, they defeated a nationally ranked opponent for the first time in the GAC era and scored 109 points for the first time since 2007-08.

Along with some of those accomplishments, they had one of the top defenses in the country. They broke the record for the best scoring defense in the GAC for a single season allowing just 59.2 points per game. They were also second in the conference in field-goal percentage defense (38.1 percent) and had a couple of historic single-game marks. They allowed just a 19.2 field-goal percentage against Oklahoma Baptist, had their largest margin victory in that game of 50 points and allowed just 30 total points. All those were bests against GAC opponents.

Long also helped coach one of the best players in the region to a historic season in Berniezha Tidwell. Tidwell finished the year as an All-Region honoree, an All-GAC selection and the conference's Defender of the Year.

Long has familiarity with the Gulf South Conference having previously spent time at Delta State University as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator before his time at Central Arkansas.

A search for a new women's basketball coach has begun.

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