Rocky Long Named New Mexico Defensive Coordinator
Long back in the ABQ
Gonzales adds former Lobo Head Coach Rocky Long to staff as DC
Well, the New Mexico Lobo program will get a two for one and a bang for your buck in Lobo land with the announcement of the Lobos new defensive coordinator.
Head coach Danny Gonzales announced the addition of former San Diego Aztec head coach Rocky Long as their new defensive coordinator for New Mexico.
Well, the Lobo band is getting back together as he has added former Lobo players and former coaches as staff, creating an excitement for the New Mexico faithful and Alumni.
There is no mistaking how beloved Long, former UNM player, and the head coach is in New Mexico.
Long-time Lobo fans do remember his time at New Mexico as a wishbone quarterback, his returning from UCLA to be the head coach in 1998, just his commitment to the Lobo program.
This is a perfect hand, and glove fit for the Lobos as head coach Danny Gonzales was a former player, a graduate assistant, and a Defensive Coordinator for Rocky Long in San Diego.
Gonzales would go on to be the defensive coordinator for Arizona State under Herm Edwards and thanked Edwards for his unwavering support as considering the head coaching opportunity in New Mexico.
Gonzales has always made his respect for Rocky Long publicly, having coached with him for over 20 years at New Mexico and San Diego State.
This is highly unusual in the world of college football to be together that long, and Coach Gonzales has thanked him for being a mentor in the college football world.
Rocky Long took the Defensive Coordinator job at San Diego for the Aztecs in 2009 and later being promoted to the head coaching job in 2011.
There is no denying the success he had with Aztecs going 81-38 in 8 seasons for the Aztecs.
With Long at the helm for the Aztecs, they went to ten straight bowl games, which is quite impressive for any program. A decade of winning seasons for the Aztecs.
Of course, what he brings to the Lobos is his trademark is the 3-3-5 defense that few teams run it as good as coach Long.
There is a reason that Brian Urlacher led the nation in tackles his senior year (1999) with over 178 tackles under this defensive scheme.
This hire says volumes of head coach Danny Gonzales close relationship with Coach Long and how serious about reviving the Lobo program that has been down in the bottom dweller in the MWC the last few years.
If you look at Long’s history of every program, he has coached the defense, there was an immediate impact, especially in the run defense area.
There is no denying he knows defense and his years of experience at Oregon State, UCLA, New Mexico, San Diego State, the defense was rated tops in the country in NCAA.
Gonzales is very similar in his football philosophy in terms of recruiting many New Mexico high school football players, developing them, and creating highly competitive football teams.
One only has to look at former New Mexico athletes under Long that were not highly recruited from other schools that went on to have great college careers and many at the next level in the NFL.
So if Long history of success at Oregon State, UCLA, New Mexico, San Diego State is any indicator of what to expect, Lobo fans have something to be excited about and that has been missing for many years.
So, add the youth of the current staff hired by Gonzales, and Gonzales himself as the head coach as well.
When Gonzales was hired as the new Lobo head coach in December, it created such excitement and hoped for better days for the Lobo program.
Gonzales, or as he is affectionally called “Coach Gonz” was back, and the city of Albuquerque and State of New Mexico were so excited about this hire by athletics director Eddie Nunez.
There is no doubt, Athletic Director Eddie Nunez made a hire that will create a buzz in Lobo Nation.
With Long leading the defensive scheme and Derek Warehime leading the offensive, the Lobos should have a lot to be excited about. This also could return New Mexico to respectability sooner than later with Long in charge of the defense.
Now add to that another top-rated coach from the past who has come back to be the defensive coach, better days are ahead of the Lobo football program, and man will they be fun to watch.