Coach Rocky Long with his team after its 23-14 defeat of UCLA on Sept. 7. Photo credit: Derrick Tuskan, via goaztecs.com

San Diego State’s Rocky Long has been named a semifinalist for the 2019 George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced this week.

Long is one of 22 semifinalists for the award and one of just eight from a Group of 5 conference. Other finalists include Bryan Harsin of Boise State and Ken Niumatalolo of Navy.

Long, San Diego State’s coach since 2011, has guided the Aztecs to an 8-2 record and a 5-2 mark in the Mountain West.

Should SDSU beat Hawai’i Saturday in Honolulu, the team would make the Mountain West Championship. It would be third trip to the final for the Aztecs since the game began in 2013.

The Aztecs, currently ranked 25th in the Amway Coaches Poll, have been ranked twice in the AP Top 25 Poll this year. They reached  a high of No. 24 before falling off the poll following their Nov. 9 loss to Nevada.

SDSU enters the weekend ranked second in the country in time of possession (34:44) and rushing defense (65.80), and third in turnovers lost (7) and fumbles lost (2).

Award finalists will be announced Dec. 9, with the winner to be selected Dec. 29.

The formal presentation will take place at the Maxwell Football Club’s National Awards Gala. That’s set for March 6, 2020 at the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

– Staff reports

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