Aztecs head football coach Rocky Long spoke about changes in the program at a press conference Friday at Viejas Arena.
Jan. 11, 2013
COACH LONG QUOTES | COACH LONG PRESSER
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Rocky Long
"This feels kind of special to me, being in the basketball arena doing this the football coach over here doing this. I'm here to answer any questions you may have. We've had some things going on with the program and I'll answer any questions that you have."
On if there will be any other changes to the coaching staff:
"No one else has indicated they're going anywhere. Now, some of them aren't here right now, because today we can go back out on the road. Some of them were here this morning for a staff meeting and then went back out on the road recruiting."
On hiring Bob Toledo as offensive coordinator:
"I think it's a pretty special hire. You don't normally see a guy with his experience and his success come back to a conference like ours as a coordinator. (Toledo) has been an offensive coordinator as well as a head coach at the same time in several spots. He's had success in almost every place he's been. When I worked with him at UCLA, he had great success. Bowl games, Rose Bowl, conference coach of the year. And at the same time he was running the offense. Then I was lucky enough he became my offensive coordinator at my previous school, and that was one of the best teams we've ever had. "
On working with coach Toledo:
"First of all, we're really good friends. Second of all, we know how we both work. I've worked for him and he worked for me, and we got along really well. Our philosophies are the same. He knows that I don't mess with the offense, that it's his show. I have great trust he'll be able to do things with our offense that haven't been done up to this time. I think through his experience and the number of different places he's been, I'm sure he can take the players that we have now and get the best out of them."
On junior tight end Gavin Escobar declaring for the NFL Draft:
"We talked during the season about it, and then before (Escobar) made the announcement we talked a little bit about it, but he already decided he was coming out. So, I once again tried to tell him about the benefits of staying in school, but all families make their own decisions and he's pretty comfortable with his decision. I think he'll be a good pro. So we wish him the best of luck just as we do with all the guys that have that opportunity."
On getting coach Toledo to come out of retirement:
"I don't think it was hard. It wasn't a foregone conclusion when I called him up. I think he thought about it for a couple of days, and then he got excited about it. He came and spent the day with us down here, and now he's really excited about coming back."
On the other candidates considered for offensive coordinator:
"It doesn't do any good to tell you the other candidates. I talked to four or five guys on the phone. Coach Toledo was my first choice, and when he got excited about coming, I didn't worry about the rest of them."
On coach Andy Ludwig leaving for Wisconsin:
"(The media) knew 24 or 12 hours after I did. Gary Anderson, the new coach at Wisconsin gave me a call on the phone. Gary and I have kind of been friends for a long time since we're both defensive guys. He called and said he was interested in hiring (Ludwig) as the offensive coordinator, and wanted me to know that. And as soon as he got off the phone with me, I'm sure he called (Ludwig)."
If things are now settled with the coaching staff:
"Well I think there's still some movement going on in the coaching ranks. There will be some college coaches moving to the NFL, and it's always a domino effect. So there's always a chance because of our recent success here that some of our coaches will be contacted about jobs at other places. That's always a possibility. I think we're a little uneasy about which league we're going to be in, and that should be decided in the next week or so. So that will settle back down. I think the coaching carousel will still go on as long as the NFL has jobs open."
On the possible conference change:
"I'm always kept abreast of what's going on. I don't have an opinion. Wherever they put us, we'll play whoever shows up. In my opinion, I think it's 50-50 right now. I'm not in the inner-circle, I'm not on the conference calls. I don't think it's been decided, but I think it's going to happen quickly."
On if coach Toledo will have a say on any new coaches brought in:
"Unless something opens up on the offensive side of the ball, I'll sure take his advice on who we might want to hire and who we might bring in. But any coordinator that was interested in our job was told our assistant coaches were staying. I wouldn't have brought a coordinator in and made any changes to any of our coaches. Now, some of our other coaches might make the change in the next week or two, but I told all of our coaches I wanted them all back. So the coordinator had to be willing to do that."
On coach Toledo's recruiting ties:
"I think the recruits that are on the offensive side of the ball, the knowledge of (Toledo) being our coordinator helps dramatically, because those guys were worried about who's the offensive coordinator would be when coach Ludwig left. Getting a guy with his reputation and his experience and his success moving the football and scoring points, settled all of our offensive recruits down. And I think just his name in California will help us recruit on the offensive side of the ball."
On the difference of the offense under coach Toledo:
"I think it's going to be very similar. I'm not going to compare him and (Ludwig) because I've worked with both of them and I think they'll both do a really good job. My experience being around coach Toledo is he'll be very inventive. He's the best play caller I've ever competed against. We competed when I was at Oregon State and he was at UCLA, and we competed in practice for three years. I think he's the best play caller I've been around. But I think the offense being different will be determined by him once he gets a feel for the players we have."