WVU Tech Men’s Basketball Coach steps down

Beckley, WV – WVU Tech Men’s Basketball coach James Long has announced that he’s leaving his post as the head men’s basketball coach at WVU Tech after three years in Beckley. Long has accepted a position as COO of Court XIV and the General Manager of The Carolina Factory in Cornelius, NC. This role will allow Long to follow his passion for the game of basketball in a new way.

Long led the Golden Bears to a 62-21 overall record after three seasons, including a River States Conference Championship. He was also named Rivers States Conference Coach of the Year in his first season. He led WVU Tech to consecutive conference titles and guided the Golden Bears to three NAIA National Championship appearances. 

Long joined Golden Bear Athletics as a head coach after his time on the West Virginia University Mountaineer team, first as an athlete and then as a member of the staff.

Long shared a letter about his resignation and his time at WVU Tech. Long said, “I was lucky enough to be surrounded by the most supportive, hard-working people every day. We accomplished so many great things together through immense adversity. We all grew together.”

He shared his appreciation for the players and the team and for their patience and dedication. “You gave me everything you had all the time. These will be the most special years of togetherness I have had in basketball.”

Coach Long thanked folks who helped him throughout his journey as a head coach, including Campus President Carolyn Long and Athletic Director Kenny Howell. “You guys took a chance on a 26-year-old and changed my life forever. I hope that you all feel that I did the best I could every day on campus. I truly believe I could never work for a better AD and President. [I had] nothing but constant support my entire time here. I am beyond grateful for both of you.”

“We are sad to see James leave because he has become such a strong member of our campus community and is a great coach. We know that there are great things ahead for him and for our team under the leadership of Coach Wilmore,” shared Athletic Director Kenny Howell.  

Long said that he’s excited to see the continued growth and success of the team and praised coaches George Wilmore and Payton Sturm.
George Wilmore will step up as head coach for the Golden Bears. Long will continue to coach the TBT team Best Virginia this summer. Best Virginia will take on the WVU Tech Men’s Basketball team at Fairmont State in an exhibition game on July 16, 2022 at 6 p.m.