Posted: 6:17 pm Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Rob Long hired as Royal Palm Beach boys’ hoops coach; Brian Joros steps down as athletics director 

By Jeff Greer

There’s been a lot of turnover at Royal Palm Beach the past few years, but with his newest hire, Principal Jesus Armas wants to establish some stability with his boys’ basketball program.

Rob Long

Armas announced Thursday that long-time coach Rob Long, who has worked closely with Armas at several schools over the years, will replace Drew Quinn as the boys’ hoops coach at Royal Palm Beach. Long was dismissed as Boca’s coach 10 days ago, but will finish out his teaching duties at Boca before moving to Royal Palm Beach in August. Quinn was fired last Friday.

“In my mind, he is one of the best basketball minds in the state of Florida,” Armas said of Long. “His teams always play hard. He’s credentialed. He’s won everywhere he’s gone.”

Long, 56, coached Suncoast to a state championship in 1990, and brought his 2000 Jupiter squad to Lakeland, too. He has compiled a 317-199 record in 18 seasons as a head coach. He was 57-40 in four seasons at Boca, but his teams failed to reach the playoffs. Boca Principal Geoff McKee said he dismissed Long in an effort to change the leadership style of the school’s basketball program. Last week, Boca hired 23-year-old alum Max Spinner as Long’s replacement.

Armas, who followed Long as Suncoast’s basketball coach in the 1990s, wanted to make it clear that Long’s hiring and Quinn’s firing had nothing to do with each other. Armas also worked with Long at Jupiter, but he said Long’s availability simply made finding Quinn’s replacement easier.

“Both decisions were made separately of one another, absolutely,” Armas said. “It was a no-brainer because Rob was available.”

Joros steps down as AD: Armas also announced that baseball coach Brian Joros stepped down as Royal Palm Beach’s athletics director before baseball season. Joros told his principal that he needed to focus on coaching baseball. Former football coach Eric Patterson replaced Joros as athletics director.