Aztecs Go Long for Hoke's Replacement

Long led New Mexico to 5 bowls in 7 years

By Michael Gehlken
|  Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011  |  Updated 3:18 PM PDT
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Aztecs Go Long for Hoke's Replacement

SDSU Media Relations – Ernie Anderson

San Diego State introduced Rocky Long as its new football coach Wednesday. Long succeeds Brady Hoke, whom Michigan University hired Tuesday.

San Diego State couldn't wait to salvage its football program's stability.

One day after coach Brady Hoke left the Aztecs to assume the helm of Michigan, the athletic department made its move, formally announcing Rocky Long as its next head coach.

Long was the San Diego State defensive coordinator during the two-year Hoke resurgence. In that short span, the Aztecs rebounded from their first 10-loss season in program history in 2008 to last month win their first bowl game since 1969.

Long will be a familiar face on a coaching staff  likely without offensive coordinator Al Borges, who is expected to follow Hoke to Ann Arbor.

 "I am absolutely thrilled that Rocky Long has accepted our offer to become the Aztecs next head coach," SDSU President Stephen L. Weber said in a media release. "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 future."

Long has head coach experience, compiling a 65-69 record from 1998-2008 at New Mexico. He guided the Lobos to five bowl appearances in his final seven seasons.

The Aztecs finished 9-4 in 2010 and defeated Navy 35-14 last month in the Poinsettia Bowl.

"We are very excited about the hiring of Rocky Long as our head football coach," athletics director Jim 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 character."

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