Bowling Green, Ky. — Head Coach Emeritus Dr. Curtiss Long of Western Kentucky University's track and cross country programs will be inducted into the Florida Track & Field Hall of Fame Saturday in a ceremony in Lake Mary, Fla. Long – who retired as WKU's head coach on January 1, 2008 – is currently a part-time assistant with the Hilltopper and Lady Topper programs, working with the men's distance runners and all hurdlers.
During his 28 years at the helm of WKU cross country and track, the programs enjoyed 2 NCAA individual titles, 22 NCAA all-American performances, 33 team conference titles, 162 individual conference titles, and 531 all-conference performances. Until his retirement from full-time coaching, Long guided the men's track and cross country teams since the fall of 1980, and took on additional duties with the women's program in 1982. In that time, Long has coached four Olympians, earned 32 conference coach-of-the-year honors and was named the Sun Belt Conference's all-time cross country coach for both genders during the league's 30-year anniversary season.
The son of legendary Seminoles head coach Mike Long, WKU's Long was a three-year letterwinner on the track for his father, earning his bachelor of science degree in physical education from Florida State in 1966. Then, after earning his master's degree from FSU in 1968, Long had a one-year stint as the head coach at Ft. Lauderdale Northeast High School before joining the United States Air Force, where he coached the George Air Force Base track squad in 1970.
After a tour in Vietnam, Long returned to Florida State to coach under his father from 1973-76 while working on his Ph.D. in physical education. After earning his doctorate, Long spent four years as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia before coming to the Hill in 1980.
In 2007, Long was named the 73rd inductee into the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (KTCCCA) Hall of Fame. With his latest induction into the Florida Track Hall of Fame, Long will be joining a long list of legendary hall-of-fame coaches in the state of Florida that includes his father and two brothers – Terry and Jim.