Jan. 12, 2011
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- Rocky Long
, the second-winningest coach in the Mountain West
Conference, has been named the 18th head coach in San Diego State football
history, Aztec director of athletics Jim Sterk announced Wednesday.
Long has 37 years of coaching experience, with 11 as the head coach at New
Mexico from 1998-2008. He has coached in seven bowl games, including SDSU's
35-14 win over Navy in last month's San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
"We are very excited about the hiring of Rocky Long
as our head football coach,"
Sterk said. "In the past two years, coach Long has been an integral part of this
program's dramatic rise. We see only a bright future for San Diego State under
his direction and will continue to produce student-athletes of strong
Long has served the past two years as the defensive coordinator at San Diego
State and has been instrumental in its drastic improvement in the defense. Prior
to his arrival, the Aztecs ranked 112th in pass efficiency defense, 113th in
total defense and scoring defense and 118th in rushing defense. In two short
seasons, Long brought SDSU into the top 60 in all four defensive categories,
highlighted by a No. 20 spot in pass efficiency defense in 2010.
"I am absolutely thrilled that Rocky Long
has accepted our offer to become the
Aztecs next head coach," SDSU President Stephen L. Weber said. "He has played a
key role in the program's transformation and is exactly the right person to take
us to the next level of success.
"Over the past two years, the SDSU football program has recaptured the Aztec
spirit. We owe much of the credit for this to Brady Hoke
. We offer Brady Hoke
our thanks and our best wishes at Michigan. He has helped turn around our
football program around in two years, and it is now on a firm foundation for the
Long helped San Diego State finish with a 9-4 record in 2010, the school's most
wins in a campaign since the 1977 squad went 10-1. The Aztecs posted their first
winning season in 12 years and won their first bowl game since 1969.
In his two years at SDSU, Long has coached six players to all-MWC honors,
including 2010 first-team selections junior Miles Burris
and sophomore Leon
At New Mexico, Long compiled a school-record 65 victories and led
the Lobos to five bowl game appearances in his final seven seasons, despite
inheriting a team that had three winning seasons the previous 15 years. His
teams were bowl eligible in seven of his final eight campaigns.
Long, the 2002 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, has earned a national
reputation for producing one of the nation's stingiest defensive units. In his
final nine seasons in Albuquerque, Long's defensive units ranked among the top
30 in fewest yards allowed six times and among the top 40 nationally against the
rush every year. In addition, six times his units were among the top 26 in
fewest rushing yards allowed per game, including fifth-place finishes in both
2001 and 2003.
While at New Mexico, he coached 10 players selected in the NFL Draft, 10 players
who earned All-America honors since 2001 and 34 first-team all-conference
selections since 2003. He's been on the winning side of the
San Diego State-New Mexico series 10 consecutive seasons (eight with New Mexico,
two with SDSU).
Prior to accepting the head coaching position at New Mexico, Long served as
defensive coordinator for 12
seasons at three different schools. He was the defensive coordinator for two
years under Bob Toledo at UCLA in 1996-97, for five seasons at Oregon State from
1991-95, and for five campaigns at Wyoming from 1981-85.
He also served as an assistant coach at TCU, with the CFL's British Columbia
team and started his career at New Mexico as a graduate assistant coach in 1972.
Originally a defensive back, Long became a three-year starter at quarterback for
the Lobos from 1969-71. He earned team MVP honors three times and was the
Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. He is a
1974 graduate of New Mexico and was awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
Long and his wife, Debby, have two daughters, Roxanne and Hannah.
The Rocky Long File
Year at San Diego State:
Year as a Head Coach
Jan. 27, 1950
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Wife, Debby, and daughters, Roxanne and Hannah
New Mexico, 1974
Collegiate Playing Experience:
Quarterback at New Mexico (1969-71)
1972-73 New Mexico graduate assistant
1974-75 Albuquerque Eldorado High assistant football coach/boys' basketball
1978 New Mexico offensive backfield coach
1979-80 New Mexico secondary coach
1981-85 Wyoming defensive coordinator/secondary
1986-87 CFL's British Columbia linebackers coach
1988-90 TCU secondary coach
1991-95 Oregon State defensive coordinator
1996-97 UCLA defensive coordinator
1998-08 New Mexico head coach
2009-10 San Diego State defensive coordinator