Rocky Long will no longer be the head coach at San Diego State. It was announced today that Long is retiring from his position with the Aztecs.
In his nine seasons in San Diego, Long lead the Aztecs to nine bowl games. He guided them to three conference titles. Last season San Diego State went 10-3, it marked the fourth time in the last five seasons they won at least 10 games.
To replace Long will be Brady Hoke. Hoke joined Long’s staff last season as the defensive line coach. He was the head coach at San Diego State for two seasons (2009 and 2010), before leaving for Michigan.
After being fired at Michigan, Hoke took some time off before going to Oregon to be its defensive coordinator. He also spent time at Tennessee and with the Carolina Panthers.
In his two seasons as Aztecs head coach, Hoke helped rebuild the program. After a 4-8 season in his first year, San Diego State went 9-4 and won the Poinsettia Bowl. It was the program’s first bowl appearance since 1998.
Even though the Aztecs had plenty of on-field success, reports suggest that now all was well in San Diego. Bruce Feldman, of Fox Sports and The Athletic, reported that there has been growing tensions between Long and the administration.
The San Diego State drama with Rocky Long stems in part from the administration wanting him to look at some staff changes and him not wanting them to tell him what to do with his program, per sources. He definitely has been calling around to some Power 5 programs about DC jobs.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 8, 2020
There were reports earlier in the week that Long had visited Syracuse and was interested in its defensive coordinator position. Feldman has also reported that Long has contacted other Power 5 schools about open defensive coordinator jobs.
However, at his final press conference, Long said that he is retiring from coaching. “I have decided to retire from coaching at this point. It’s time.” Time will tell if Long changes his mind and returns to coaching.
The move by Long to step down has shocked many in the college football world. Long, who at the time was the oldest NCAA head coach and turns 70 later this month, took over the San Diego State job after 11 seasons as the head coach of New Mexico.
He was a defensive coordinator with Wyoming, Oregon State, and UCLA before becoming a head coach.
Long will retire as the all-time winningest coach in the conference and the second-winningest coach on San Diego State history.