Long brings an extensive playing career to Bailey’s staff

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Jace Long (middle) is in his second season at an assistant coach on the Marquette men’s golf team. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

If you ask Marquette men’s golf head coach Steve Bailey what he thought when interviewing Jace Long for an assistant coach position on his staff, he’ll tell you it wasn’t a swing and a miss.

“He was a home run hire for us,” Bailey said. “The combination of his character and his experience as a coach and player made him the perfect fit.”

Long, who hails from Dixon, Missouri, said he grew up on the nine-hole golf course in his backyard.

“I started playing when I could walk. My older siblings played golf, so I tagged along with them,” Long said.

His time spent on the course would pay off, as Long played Division I golf at the University of Missouri.

Long’s accolades as a collegiate golfer have rarely been duplicated.

He ranked as high as 13th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, winning 11 tournaments individually and 14 with his team while being named an All-American in 2011. In the same year, he competed in the World University Games where he finished 15th overall. He also was a three-time PING All-Region team selection.

Long said he would not have achieved any of this without his hard work.

“I had to sacrifice a lot of time [to work on my game]. I was determined to win college events and get to where I wanted to be,” Long said. “I didn’t have a swing coach, so I constantly had to figure out what was going wrong by myself.” 

After graduating from Missouri in 2013, Long turned pro.

From 2013-2020 on the pro circuit, Long finished seventh at the Wichita’s Air Capital Classic in 2013 and won the Missouri Open Championship that same year. He also recorded multiple top-10 finishes on the All-Pro Tour, which included a trip up north to Canada in 2015 for the PGA Tour Canada.

“The tour is a life of ups and downs and it is not as glamorous as people may think,” Long said. “I try to stress to our guys that we play a sport where we are going to have ups and downs, and we have to be as mentally strong as we can.”

Bailey and Long’s relationship dates back to when Bailey recruited him out of high school. At the time, Bailey was the director of golf at Northwestern.

Little did they know their paths would cross again at Marquette. 

Long said he knew he wanted to get into coaching after his professional career ended and the stars aligned for him to begin it at Marquette.

“I was beyond fortunate that the position at Marquette opened up and that [coach] Bailey took the chance to bring me in,” Long said. “I’ve been so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from Bailey and cannot wait to see what the future holds for the program.” 

Bailey said that hiring Long was important to the Marquette program.

“Having a guy with his resume and experience is huge,” Bailey said. “Coupled with his teaching experience and character made it an easy hire. We threw him into the fire his first year and he has become a much better coach because he knows that he has been brought here for a reason.”

Senior Josh Robinson echoed the impact that Long’s experience has had on the team.

“Him being able to play at the highest level in college has allowed him to translate that experience into coaching,” Robinson said. “He has brought a different perspective to the team.”

Long understands what kind of impact his experience has had on his coaching.

“The most important thing about coaching college golf is player development,” Long said. “It is my responsibility to show our guys what it takes to be one of the best players in the world. If our guys truly want to be great, it means doing the things that other people don’t want to do.”

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at trevor.hilson@marquette.edu.