WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- "This is my very first official function for KU. So we're here in Wichita!"
Jeff Long cheered over a microphone in front of hundreds of KU fans and alumni Wednesday night. He visited Wichita for the first time as new KU Athletic Director for the KU Kickoff.
Long, who officially took over August 1st, has an extensive football resume. He was part of the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee, hired and led Bobby Petrino at Arkansas, and turned around a sub-par football program at Pittsburgh.
He said he's optimistic about the future of his new football program.
"The short time I've been here, I've been able to go to practice, I've been able to meet some of the young men, I've been able to watch how hard they're working, and I really believe this is going to be a successful year for us," he said. "I know that Coach Beaty believes it and the people wearing the Jayhawk uniform believe it."
Long has already made progress in the football department, hiring Mike Vollmar as senior associate AD for football administration. Vollmar comes to KU after serving as the director of football operations at IMG Academy in Florida last season. He was an associate AD for football operations at Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, and Michigan State.
Head Coach David Beaty believes Long was the right hire, and will help to create a vision for the program over a long period of time.
"It's obviously fresh and new, but its been terrific," he said. "I'm just honored to be here with a guy that has the blueprint he's had and the resume he's had. Him having such a national name, the things that he's done, and really just his background...and the things it takes to win, I truly believe he's going to help us remove the roadblocks we have."