Ed note: Introducing David Long- Solanco. The newest head coach in the LL (the only change in head coaching for the 2019-20 season). We always learn some new things in our interviews. Enjoy!
1) Give our followers a run-down of your resume: playing and coaching.
So, I grew up in Elkton Maryland and played high school basketball for Elkton Christian Academy from 2008 – 2010. After high school I took some time off school and in 2012 I went to Lancaster Bible College and was part of a team that went to the schools first two conference title games.
I got into coaching right away after I was finished my playing career. From 2015 – 2017 I was the freshman coach at Solanco. Because of my work schedule at the time I had to step away from coaching for the 2017-2018 season, but was able to return to Solanco as a JV and Varsity assistant for the following season, which was a great chance to coach with my brother, Scott in his final season with Solanco.
2) You had a summer with your players. What did your team do? How was participation?
I thought this summer was great for our program. During the summer we would meet 3-4 days per week and focus on weightlifting and individual skill development. For our weightlifting we were able to join our football team during their lifts and many of our guys have gained size and explosion. On the court we were very focused on player development, but also installed enough offense and defense so we could begin to create our identity during the Hempfield summer league. I was very encouraged by our summer league play where we went 7-2 overall. Our participation was very solid this summer. Our team is full of incredibly hard-working guys. Many of our guys balanced playing multiple sports and working 40-hour weeks.
3) What are your short term and long-term goals for the Mules.
In the short term we are looking to integrate our four core values (Gratitude, Passion, Excellence, and Humility) into our program from the top down. We believe that if we can instill these character traits into our guys at a young age they will lead us to success on and off the court. Part of our core values is to have our guys participate in various service projects both in our school and our community. On the court, in the short term, we would like to create an identity with a distinct style of play. We want to be the toughest team on the court!
In the long term we want to move our core values from something that we talk about and have it be almost a way of life for our guys. I believe that when our players think about our core values in situations outside of basketball that is when we will know that we have created an effective culture. I believe to be successful you must have a culture based on servant leadership and I believe instilling these core values will get us to a great culture at Solanco.
4) What does success look like for you this season?
I had a coach in college that would always tell us that hard work only gives you a chance to compete, but never a guarantee to win. So, I don’t really like setting concrete goals like number of wins or championships because that is not how life or basketball works. Success to me looks like our guys creating consistent work habits that lead them to become better players and them having a true understanding of the process that it takes to get to a place where you have a chance to compete.
5) What are your thoughts on the LL 5 sections and playoff?
I love the rivalry that you get within each of the five sections. By playing each other twice a year I believe that creates a lot of familiarity with teams in the section which I have enjoyed.
Bonus: is there anything you would change about the HS game if you could?
If it were up to me varsity basketball would have a shot clock. I think as the game continues to be about space and pace a shot clock aids in the development of players and the game.