After taking the San Diego State University Aztecs to nine straight bowl appearances, head football coach Rocky Long announced Wednesday he’s stepping down and handing the reins to former Aztec coach Brady Hoke.
Long has been head coach of SDSU since 2011, when Hoke left to become head coach at Michigan. The Aztecs most recently compiled a 10-3 season, capped off with a 48-11 drubbing of Central Michigan University in the New Mexico Bowl.
Long, who will be 70 at the end of the month, is the second oldest head football coach in Division 1 football, behind Ohio’s Frank Solich. Before taking over the SDSU program, Long was defensive coordinator for the Aztecs for two seasons.
His coaching career stretches back to 1972, when he was a graduate assistant with his college team, the New Mexico Lobos. Long held an overall record with San Diego State of 81-38.
Coach Long I thank you for everything you’ve done for me in the past 5 years in college.Thank you for giving me the keys to one of the most dynamic defense in the country and letting me control that narrative. Me and my family will forever be grateful for you. ? @SDSUFootball pic.twitter.com/QK7OOxZXmw
— Kyahva Tezino (@KYAHVA44) January 9, 2020
Hoke left San Diego for a brief, tumultuous spell in Ann Arbor, where he went 31-20 in four seasons. He then spent one season as defensive coordinator at the University of Oregon, one season as the University of Tennessee’s defensive line coach and not quite a full season as defensive line coach for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Long brought Hoke back on the Aztec staff in 2019 as defensive line coach.
In Hoke’s previous stint with San Diego State, he took over a program that went 2-10 the year before he arrived and rejuvenated it, winning nine games, including a Poinsettia Bowl victory over Navy, in his second year.
Long has mentioned he will be looking for a defensive coaching position.
I learned more from meeting with this Coach for 15 minutes a day my senior year than any class I ever took. Thanks for the lessons Coach Long, San Diego will always be grateful for everything you did for this university and this city. I will always be thankful! Thank you Coach!? https://t.co/VCHyHXf9lI
— John Baron (@johnnycbaron) January 9, 2020
Updated at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020
— City News Service