The University of South Carolina Sumter has officially announced the reboot of its women's soccer program, and in so doing announced that Sumter High School boys soccer head coach Joshua Long will be its head coach.
"We're excited to bring back …
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"We're excited to bring back our women's soccer program," USC Sumter Director of Athletics Adrienne Cataldo said in a press release from the school on Tuesday. "We've received a lot of support already from the community and USC Sumter student body."
Cataldo announced in 2019 that it would be reestablishing the women's soccer program, which the school had not had since the 2010 season. The program is scheduled to begin play again in the 2020 fall semester.
The 32-year-old Long said this is something he has been hoping for in his coaching career.
"Honestly, It's just been a huge dream mine," Long said. "Since I was in high school, one of ultimate goals was to be a college soccer coach. I just felt like this was a great opportunity for me."
Long said he felt comfortable with Cataldo as well as USC Sumter men's soccer coach Skottowe Fox.
"It really comes down to Age, the AD," Long said. "I just felt right at home, like I was part of the team. I really like Skottowe Fox, the boys soccer coach. I feel like I will work well with him, get feedback from him as well in building the program. I just fill like I'[l fit in really, really well."
Long is in his second season as the boys head coach at Sumter High. The Gamecocks were 4-3 on the year when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus.
He also served two years as the SHS girls head coach. He was also a junior varsity girls head coach for both Sumter and Carolina Forest High in Myrtle Beach. Long's career record as a high school coach is 47-35.
With National Junior College Athletic Association coaches unable to travel and recruit at this time due to the coronavirus, USC Sumter has scheduled a virtual information meeting for April 15 at 4 p.m. Any female student who is planning to attend USC Sumter and is interested in playing soccer in the fall of 2020 can email Long at JL82@mailbox.sc.edu for details on how to join the virtual meeting.
Long said reaching out to potential players without the ability to watch them in games or visit them in person makes the recruiting process more difficult.
"It's definitely a new process for me," he said. "I'm looking at several college websites. I used to coach at the beach, Myrtle Beach, so I'm reaching out to contacts to see what kind of girls they have on their teams. I've got new contacts, making phone calls, going to recruiting websites to try and get my name out there."
Long said he is looking for high-energy players who want to be part of a new program.
"I'm extremely excited with the fact it is a new program," he said. "I get to bring in my kind of players, bring in all the players to fit my type of system. The players don't have to worry about who's the new coach."
Cataldo said Long fits the energy level he wants from his players.
"His attitude and his energy was absolutely huge," Cataldo said in a telephone energy. "He's s a go-getter, so excited to get the program started. He's hit the ground running. He has the attitude you need to recruit female college athletes."
USC Sumter first established a women's program in 2008, going 5-8 that year and winning a first-round game in the Region X tournament. USCS didn't have a varsity team the following year due to not having enough academically eligible players after a coaching change..
Sumter had a team in 2010 and it went 9-9-1 and reached the semifinals of the region tournament. However, it didn't have enough players for the '11 season. Sumter has not had a team since.
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