Pitt athletic director Jeff Long confirmed today that he has interviewed with University of Arkansas officials about their athletic director opening, but wouldn’t say whether he received a job offer.
“I went to Arkansas and had a conversation with them about their athletic director’s position,” Long told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review before his radio show, “First and Long” aired on Fox Sports Radio 970 (WBGG-AM) prior to Pitt’s football game against Grambling State at Heinz Field. “We had a visit and really, beyond that, there isn’t much more to say.”
Long and his wife, Fanny, flew to Fayetteville yesterday on a plane owned by the University of Arkansas. Stanley Reed, chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, called Long “a strong candidate.” The Arkansas and Pitt Rivals.com sites reported that Arkansas offered Long the job, and Hawgsillustrated.com, an Arkansas fan site on the Scout.com network, reported that Long is expected to accept the offer.
The school’s chancellor, John A. White, is conducting a secretive one-man search to find a replacement for Frank Broyles, who has held the position for 34 years but is retiring Dec. 31.
Long said he informed Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg of Arkansas’ interest before the visit.
“They had an interest in me and I felt it was a situation where I needed to at least have a conversation with them,” Long said. “I did share that with Chancellor Nordenberg before I left. Now I’m back in Pittsburgh, my focus is on the student-athletes who are performing here today. My energies are focused on Pitt and that’s the way it’s going to be.
“Beyond that, I’m not going to say anything. I don’t want to have any further comment on it. I’m focused on Pitt and we’re going on our student-athletes today and we’re going to beat Grambling.”
Long also confirmed his interview with Arkansas on his pre-game radio show Arkansas, but did not elaborate.
“I’m here in Pittsburgh. I’m the Pitt athletic director and I’m proud to be that,” Long told radio host Rob King of FSN Pittsburgh. “I’m about Pitt and that’s all I care to say about the situation at this point.”