published Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Casey Long, Katie Burrows keep balls rolling for UTC

Casey Long has not moved one piece of furniture, taken down any posters or cleaned out any other part of his office on the fourth floor of McKenzie Arena.

Neither has Katie Burrows.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga interim coaches for men's and women's basketball will continue in their roles until new athletic director David Blackburn hires head coaches. Blackburn started work Wednesday.

"Until they don't want me here anymore, my plan is to be here for the players, the school and the city," said Long, who was an assistant under former coach John Shulman for one year and as a player helped lead the Mocs to the 2005 Southern Conference championship.

Blackburn said the hirings of the new coaches are his top early priorities.

"I'll be busy working trying to find two good people to represent us," Blackburn said. "I have no agenda on which will be hired first. It depends on how the timing works out."

Until then, Burrows and Long will continue working with the current players, staying in communication with signees and keeping the programs running as normal as possible at the end of the spring semester.

"Everybody is calling my office about camps as well as parents of current and incoming players," said Burrows, a former player and assistant for Wes Moore, who left for North Carolina State. "I've been able to recruit some as well."

Burrows has been involved with UTC women's basketball since she attended summer camps when Craig Parrott was the head coach.

"He told me, 'You're going to grow and come pay at UTC,'" Burrows recalled. "I've been invested in this city and this program for a long time. I'd like to continue that, but I'm not worrying.

"I want the appropriate person to be hired for these girls, and I want them to be able to continue and advance what we've done for 15 years."

Both Burrows and Long want new head coaches hired soon so they can have some closure and everybody can begin moving in a new direction.

"I'm looking forward to the players being at peace with everything," Long said. "It's been helter-skelter for a while, and I'd like to see an end to that.

"The fans are ready; the players are ready; the city is ready. We have to trust [Blackburn's] process."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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