James Madison Hires Richard Long of Auburn as New Head Coach

James Madison University has hired Richard Long as their new head coach he confirmed Monday evening. Long comes to the program after 7 seasons as an assistant at his alma mater Auburn.

This is the second Auburn veteran assistant who has left the program this year for a head coaching job elsewhere, next to Frank Bradley who became the head coach at Florida State.

Long was at Auburn for the last 6 of their men’s SEC Championships, and was around for the 2007 men’s and women’s teams that were SEC and NCAA Championships as a volunteer assistant, and as a full-time assistant in 2009 when the men won NCAA’s. In between, he was a videographer, and in the summer of 2009 served as an assistant coach for Paraguay at the World Championships.

He takes over for head coach Samantha Smith, who retired at the end of last season. For Long, this is a bit of a homecoming, as he is a native Virginian, originally from Hampton, which is across the state from James Madison in Harrisonburg.

James Madison, which only sponsors a women’s team, finished 2nd at last year’s CAA Championships. They had some notable graduations, but will return another very impressive senior class. That includes Kelsey Holmgaard, who was the conference champion in the 200 IM and 200 breaststroke and runner-up in the 400 IM and was the 3rd-leading individual scorer in the conference last year. Other returning standouts include Shannon Dubay and Sin Hye Won. Between those three swimmers, all very similar in skill, James Madison scored at the CAA Championships:

  • Two of the top three spots in the 100 breaststroke
  • The top three spots in the 200 IM
  • Three of the top five spots in the 200 breaststroke

Won qualified for last year’s NCAA Championship meet in both breaststrokes, but finished ranked in the 40’s in both races.

In short, Long is inheriting a much healthier team than a lot of coaches we’ve seen take new roles this off-season. If the team had a weakness last year, it was probably the 50 freestyle, where they were just 3rd in the conference, and with Long’s history from being with the sprint group at Auburn for 7 years, that shouldn’t last long. JMU won’t face conference rivals, and defending champions, Towson in a regular season dual this year. Towson beat James Madison by just under 50 points at last year’s CAA Championships.

See the team’s full schedule below:

Date Opponent Location Time (ET) Results Media
  Fri, Oct 04  Radford at Radford, Va.   3:00 p.m.    
Virginia Tech Swimming Challenge
  Fri, Oct 11  Liberty at Christiansburg, Va.   5:00 p.m.    
  Fri, Oct 11  Virginia Tech at Christiansburg, Va.   5:00 p.m.    
  Fri, Oct 11  Radford at Christiansburg, Va.   5:00 p.m.    
  Fri, Oct 25 – Sat, Oct 26  West Virginia Invitational at Morgantown, W. Va.   All Day    
  Fri, Nov 01 – Sat, Nov 02  Delaware * Savage Natatorium (JMU)   All Day    
  Fri, Nov 01 – Sat, Nov 02  William & Mary * Savage Natatorium (JMU)   All Day    
  Fri, Nov 01 – Sat, Nov 02  UNCW * Savage Natatorium (JMU)   All Day    
  Thu, Nov 21 – Sat, Nov 23  Georgia Tech Invitational at Atlanta, Ga.   All Day    
  Thu, Jan 02 – Sat, Jan 04  Georgia Diving Invitatoinal at Athens, Ga.   All Day    
  Fri, Jan 03  Miami (Ohio) at Boca Raton, Fla.   9:00 a.m.    
  Sat, Jan 11  Gardner Webb Savage Natatorium (JMU)   1:00 p.m.    
  Sat, Jan 11  Georgetown Savage Natatorium (JMU)   1:00 p.m.    
  Sat, Jan 18  Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh, Pa.   1:00 p.m.    
  Sat, Jan 18  Denison at Pittsburgh, Pa.   1:00 p.m.    
  Sat, Feb 08  Clemson (Diving only) at Clemson, S.C.   1:00 p.m.    
  Fri, Feb 14 – Sat, Feb 15  Cavalier Invitational at Charlottesville, Va.   All Day    
  Wed, Feb 26 – Sat, Mar 01  CAA Championships at College Park, Md.   All Day    
* Conference Games

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10 years ago

You would think by now people would know that SwimSwam breaks the news WAYYY before anyone else. Do you think the average college SID is going to crank out stories as fast as our man Braden Keith? You’re out of your mind!

The Dude
10 years ago

Um, you may want to check your sources. JMU doesn’t list this on their website, and Richard is still listed on the Auburn staff roster.

10 years ago

Wow, great hire for JMU. How could they afford him? Based off the Auburn public search site he’s looking at a 40 grand pay cut unless they really are stepping up. Good for JMU and good for Richard Long!!!!! Sam did a fantastic job at JMU, and this success will only continue with Richard at the helm. Good luck!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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