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Hoke Names Rocky Long SDSU's Defensive Coordinator

The last time Rocky Long (above) and Al Borges were coordinators on the same staff was at UCLA in 1997. That season the Bruins went 10-2, won the Pac-10, advanced to the Cotton Bowl and finished fifth in the final AP poll.
The last time Rocky Long (above) and Al Borges were coordinators on the same staff was at UCLA in 1997. That season the Bruins went 10-2, won the Pac-10, advanced to the Cotton Bowl and finished fifth in the final AP poll.

Dec. 31, 2008

SAN DIEGO - Rocky Long, who amassed the most victories of any Mountain West Conference head coach in the league's history, has been named defensive coordinator at San Diego State, Aztec head coach Brady Hoke announced Wednesday.

At the same time, Hoke announced that Al Borges will serve as the team's offensive coordinator. Borges has held the offensive coordinator title for 23 seasons, was a two-time nominee for Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year and most recently helped lead Auburn to a 42-9 record and four bowl game appearances from 2004-07.

The last time Long and Borges were coordinators on the same staff was at UCLA in 1997. That season the Bruins went 10-2, won the Pac-10, advanced to the Cotton Bowl and finished fifth in the final AP poll.

"Having coached with Rocky Long, I can tell you no one is more intense or more competitive than he is," Hoke said. "We will have an aggressive attacking defense. He does a tremendous job of teaching, communicating and motivating. When I took the defense over at Ball State a year ago, a lot of the things I implemented came from what we did when I worked with Rocky at Oregon State.

"I have always believed in being an offensive defense. That is what we are going to do. There is not a better guy in this country to run this defense than Rocky."

Long resigned last month after serving as the head coach at New Mexico the previous 11 seasons. He compiled a school-record 65 victories and led the Lobos to five bowl game appearances in his final seven seasons. His teams were bowl eligible in seven of his final eight campaigns.

"The biggest reason I came to San Diego State was to work with Brady," Long said. "It is always more comfortable when you have confidence in the guy in charge. I had other opportunities, but when I visited with Brady it seemed like the right mesh and the right time.

"My perception is that San Diego State can be a power in the Mountain West Conference. I have a lot of confidence in Brady and in the way he does things. Brady is a great coach. He understands techniques. He works his guys hard and they execute at a very high level. He has the ability to make the team a coherent unit that works together toward a common goal."

Long, the 2002 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, 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. His 2007 squad, which posted a 23-0 shutout of Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl, ended the season ranked 13th nationally in that statistical category.

In his final nine campaigns with the Lobos, Long's defenses ranked among the top 40 nationally against the rush all nine seasons, and six times his units were among the top 26 nationally in fewest rushing yards allowed per game. In both 2001 and 2003, Long's New Mexico defense ranked fifth nationally in fewest rushing yards allowed per game.

While at New Mexico, he coached 10 players selected in the NFL Draft, 10 players who earned All-America honors since 2001 and had a MWC-high 34 first-team all-conference selections since 2003.

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 most-valuable-player 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
Playing Experience: Quarterback at New Mexico (1969-71)

Coaching Experience:
1972-73     New Mexico                  graduate assistant
1974-75     Albuquerque Eldorado High   assistant football coach/boys' basketball coach
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

SDSU Offensive Coordinator Al Borges on Long:
"When I heard Rocky was coming to San Diego State it got me excited. I know firsthand what he is capable of. I have had the opportunity to be on the opposite sideline and be on the same sideline. I know what he can do. He has incredible experience and he makes adjustments before most people know they are supposed to be made. He is smart, aggressive and tough. He is everything you look for in a football coach."