EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from an earlier version.
Eagle sports information also honored with top award from conference
PRESCOTT — Wearing several hats in any one job seems to be the norm these days, but for Embry-Riddle Athletic Director Jaime Long, she takes it to the extreme.
For her commitment to Eagle athletics, the California Pacific Conference recognized her efforts Thursday morning, selecting her as the 2017-18 Athletic Director of the Year.
Conference athletic directors vote every year on several awards, with top AD being likely the highest honor.
“It was a very nice honor. I was not expecting it,” Long said in a phone interview Thursday night while on the road recruiting in California. “A lot of other schools had success this year … So, in order to be able to receive this award, it was pretty incredible.”
Long served as assistant athletic director and sports information director for a few years before being elevated to athletic director last summer after longtime AD Ted Blake retired.
During her inaugural season as athletic director, Long again was forced to wear another hat, taking over the reins of the Eagle softball program after head coach Marie Thomason took medical leave. She subsequently led Embry-Riddle to its best season in program history, finishing over .500 for the first time (24-23) and the most wins ever (24).
She also oversaw one of the best athletic seasons in Embry-Riddle history, with volleyball, women’s soccer, golf and cross-country making it to NAIA nationals after winning Cal Pac titles.
The men’s and women’s basketball programs, each starting from scratch within the last three years, also claimed program-best win totals, while the women qualified for the Cal Pac Tournament, a first.
Other awards handed out by the Cal Pac on Thursday included recognizing Long and assistant athletic director Phil Hess for their efforts in sports information.
La Sierra’s Brian Murphy and his staff won the Sports Medicine Award, while the Golden Eagles were also presented with the Cal Pac Sportsmanship Award.
During this year’s voting, 10 of the 12 conference teams were given votes in multiple sports, indicating a wider recognition for the sportsmanship displayed by the Cal Pac, a press release stated.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.
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