KU AD Jeff Long continues to find memorable ways to celebrate Jayhawks' success
Even with serious matters such as the appeal over the NCAA’s recent Silvio De Sousa ruling and the fast-approaching start of Les Miles’ first run with spring football at Kansas, first-year KU Athletic Director Jeff Long is still finding time to connect with KU’s student-athletes in the ways he enjoys the most.
From attending games and events to surprise visits to practices, Long seems to be most in his element when he’s able to connect with KU athletes from all across campus.
Two of the best examples of this came this week alone, when Long roared into the postgame celebration with one KU team and showed up at another’s mid-week practice to deliver his own version of the old pat on the back.
Monday night, after KU’s wild overtime victory at TCU, Long made his way to the Jayhawks’ locker room in Fort Worth, Texas, and immediately sought out sophomore K.J. Lawson, whose shot with 25 seconds to play sent the game to OT and second big bucket midway through overtime put Kansas ahead for good.
What followed appeared to catch most of the KU players by surprise, including Lawson, who was at the center of Long's celebration.
Later in the week, on Wednesday afternoon, Long dropped by the KU swimming and diving practice to personally congratulate KU’s water warriors for setting a KU athletic department record with a 3.70 team GPA for the fall semester.
That mark, which broke the old record of 3.69 set by the women’s cross country team in 2016, helped deliver an even bigger athletic department GPA record of 3.11 by all of KU’s athletic teams for the fall semester.
Baseball, women’s basketball and women’s track and field joining women’s swimming and diving in setting team semester GPA records. And 12 of KU’s 16 team sports finished the fall 2018 semester with GPA’s above 3.0.
Several representatives of each team were honored during an on-court ceremony at Allen Fieldhouse last week, but the swimming and diving team was unable to attend.
So Long took the party to practice and made a memorable splash for everyone who was there.