August 04, 2021

YMCA hires new athletic director

Southern Prairie YMCA has hired Lenox native, Allen Long, as its new athletic director.

Dana Dodge, YMCA executive director, said it is Long’s enthusiasm and knowledge that made him the best candidate for the position.

“He’s has a lot of opportunities to work with youth in the past, so that’s definitely a plus,” said Dodge. “He’s a hard worker. He’s here when he needs to be, and he works hard when he’s here. He brings great customer service. He’s great with the members.”

Long began his new position at the beginning of November.

“He’ll have all of our youth programming whether that is soccer, field hockey, youth basketball, T-ball and any other youth programs he develops that we may implement in the future,” said Dodge. “He’ll have the adult leagues that brought over from City Rec.”

Long said he’s looking forward to working with the youth and teaching sports.

“That’s what I love,” said Long. “And to be able to use my Christianity in my job makes it that much more special.”

It was Long’s faith in God that lead him to seek the job at SPYMCA.

“I’ve been through some jobs and saw this was here,” said Long, “It just seemed like God was pointing me in this direction. I’ve done little league coaching and I’ve always wanted to do some sports stuff. He pointed me in this direction and I gave it a shot, put an application in and here I am.”

When Long isn’t teaching youth or developing new programs for the YMCA, he enjoys playing games with his wife, Angie, and three teenage children, Allie, 15, Alex, 14, and Vanessa, 12. Long is an avid camper and looks forward to the weather warming up again.

Future plans for Long include taking online courses to become a youth pastor and going back to school to get his coaching license.

“I just hope I can teach the young kids I’m teaching to grow into fine young adults,” said Long, “and give them a bright future knowing what’s out there and what there is to offer.”