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Anthony Long Resigns as Dr. Phillips Basketball Coach

May 9, 2017
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Dr. Phillips boys basketball coach Anthony Long announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down after a 15-season run that saw the Panthers average more than 22 wins per year.

“I’m wanting to spend more time with my own 8-year-old autistic son and my wife,” Long said in a written statement. “Time and demands that are involved in running this program have been a strain.

“I’m not embracing the grind like I used to, so it’s someone else’s turn. I’m not mad at anyone. Not mad at my principal, not mad at my AD. Pretty sure they’re not mad at me.

“I’m not seeking nor will I take any other coaching job for next year.  I’m staying at DP to teach. It’s just time to move on and start a new chapter of my life.”

DP completed a 19-10 season on Tuesday night when it lost 69-58 on the road against the third-ranked team in Class 9A, Oak Ridge (24-4), in a region semifinal game.

The unranked Panthers were district runners-up to Oak Ridge and upset state No. 5 Sarasota Riverview on the road in a region quarterfinal game to reach the state “Sweet 16” for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons.

That gave Long a 332-106 record at DP and a 480-175 career mark counting his seven prior seasons at Gainesville High.

Five times he had teams in state championship games, including back-to-back title teams at GHS in 1999 and 2000.

Dr. Phillips was a state runner-up in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

The Panthers under Long won six Metro Conference championships, six district championships, and three region titles.

DP completed the state’s second longest all-time streak of 20-win seasons under Long’s watch. That run started with nine straight 20-plus years under former coach Theo McWhite and continued with 20 or more victories in Long’s first 13 seasons on the job (2002-15).

That streak ended in 2015-16 when DP finished 19-9 after losing its three top returning players — current seniors Chaundee Brown, Malik William and Elijah Jordan — by transfer to The First Academy.

Long coached 10 full scholarship Division I players at DP, including Jason Rich (FSU), Chris Warren (Ole Miss), Shane Larkin (Miami), and current collegians Jonathan Laurent (Rutgers) and RaShawn “Pookie” Powell, who starts for LaSalle after leaving Memphis.

Buddy Collings is a senior sports writer covering high schools for the Orlando Sentinel. He is a former correspondent for USA Today, the longtime keeper of state prep records, and teamed with Bill Buchalter to choose Florida's all-time football team for Sports Illustrated. Buddy is a UF grad and a fan of any sport his kids are playing

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