Franklin-Simpson High School announced on Monday, July 13 that Jerred Long is the new head coach of the Lady Cats’ volleyball team.
This will be Long’s first head coaching job. He has served as a coach in volleyball clubs such as SKEVA (Southern Kentucky Elite Volleyball Academy) and a skills trainer for the Elite Training Academy that works with individuals and groups, working on refining their skills. He also did voluntary work with the Logan County Lady Cougars as he has a relationship with longtime coach Steven Lyne and current head coach Caleb Sheffield.
“I come from a pretty good mentorship of coaches in the region such as: South Warren’s Lindsey Sheffield, Greenwood’s Allen Whittinghill, along with Lyne and Sheffield at Logan County,” Long said. “Plus being so close to Travis Hudson at WKU and to pop in and see what he does with his team as well. Everyone of those coaches have been instrumental to me in learning the game and learning how to lead in this sport.”
Long replaces Megan Vincent who served four seasons as head coach. She compiled an overall record of 34-65 with two 13th District Tournament runner-ups and made history by winning the school’s first ever match in the 4th Region Tournament with a four set victory over the Clinton County Lady Bulldogs.
Long inherits a team that finished 6-17 last season. He says the tides are changing to truly be a contender and that starts now.
“Being at Logan County, I am very, very familiar with the 13th District,” Long said. “A lot of kids that play in this district and region are involved with SKEVA and I was able to coach alongside Megan (Vincent) in that capacity and saw that. The district has gotten better. Logan County is the perennial powerhouse. They have a lot of young talent that has been developed that are coming up and you can see that in the varsity programs. Russellville is a young program and is improving quickly. Todd county Central has been doing well since (Steven) Lyne has been working and helping them. They have some good players and it is a tough district and region as well.”
Due to KHSAA’s restrictions in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lady Cats are doing individual workouts, working on their skill sets and conditioning. He hopes that they can conduct tryouts for varsity and junior varsity teams on Monday, Aug. 3.
“We have a great foundation, a great group of kids. They are eager and ready to learn,” Long said. “They are excited and ready to build a culture that is different around here. They are ready to put some numbers on banners and ready to be respected as an athletic program.”
Long is also working closely with Coach Brandon Eubanks and the middle school program. He likes the attitude and direction that Eubanks has developed the program.The middle school program is where it starts, the building blocks for the future. Long also says that if they can give them fundamental leadership and skills now, it will not be a hard transition from middle school to the high school level.
Winning is a goal of every coach for what sport they are doing. According to Long, his goals are to be there for the kids. Winning is a bi-product of being a good person to the kids. Be a good leader by being a good example and knowing that he will have their back. Kids need leadership more than having someone pounding them about wins, but winning is nice.
“Logan County has and needs to be unseated sometime,” Long said. “Somebody has to do it so why not us. It will be sweeter for me since I came from that program and my mentor is their head coach. Caleb (Sheffield) and I see each other just about everyday and he’s been a great help to learn from. At the same time, he is in full understanding that once we step on the court and we are on opposite sides of the net, it’s on. Ironically, we open the season hosting Logan County on the brand new floor in the F-S Gym.”
Long accepted a paraeducator position, teaching special education at the middle school. He is married to Hannah Long, who is the cousin of Caleb Sheffield, and they have two rescue dogs: Astro and Chevy.