Justin Long Named as GCA Varsity Football Coach

"I am looking forward to using the game of football to point others to Christ and to help them become the best version of themselves, on and off the field.” - Coach Justin Long

Grace Christian Academy is pleased to announce the hire of Justin Long as the new Varsity Football Coach.  The announcement from GCA Athletic Director, Shawn Mehegan, is exciting and timely news as players are set to begin off-season training in early 2021.

Coach Justin Long has a wealth of experience and success as a seasoned player and coach.  While playing for Fulton High School, Justin was the quarterback of the first ever state championship team at Fulton in any sport and named Offensive MVP of the Blue Cross Bowl.  He also tied a record at the time of four touchdown passes in the state championship game.  By the end of his senior season, Long finished with 49 total touchdowns, (35 passing, 14 rushing).

Coach Long continued his football career under renowned Coach Ken Sparks at Carson Newman University, where he was named the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week in 2005 after a come from behind victory over Newberry.  After graduating from Carson Newman with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services, he soon began his coaching career at Fulton High School, where he has been on staff for 12 years.

As an integral part of the Fulton Football staff, Coach Long has served as the QB coach, Wide Receivers Coach, Special Teams Coach, and most recently, the Offensive Coordinator. Coach Long is also closely involved with players through the college recruiting process.  Having been a part of three state championships (2012, 2013 & 2014), including two nationally ranked teams (2013, 2014), and six region championships, Coach Long is well equipped to prepare teams for success.  He knows championship culture firsthand as the first person in Fulton High School history to have won a state championship as a player and coach.

Coach Long, along with his wife, DeLayne and son, Carter, are excited to join the GCA community.  As he reflects on the opportunity he commented, “I am honored and excited to serve as Head Coach of the Grace Christian Academy Rams!  All of the glory goes to God!  I am looking forward to using the game of football to point others to Christ and to help them become the best version of themselves, on and off the field.”  

GCA Athletic Director, Shawn Mehegan, noted the rich experience and strengths that Coach Long will bring to the program.  “We are so excited to have Justin Long as our new Varsity Football head coach.  Justin has excelled at a high level both as a player and a coach.  What is most unique about Coach Long is that he has played for and learned from the best both at Carson Newman and Fulton. His love for Christ and desire to mentor and build up young men has been evident in his teaching and coaching career.   I truly believe that the Lord has prepared and molded Justin to lead our football program at GCA and will continue to build upon our successes as we LEAD, BUILD, and EQUIP students to be champions for Christ. “