San Diego State football coach Rocky Long retires

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Rocky Long announced his retirement from coaching on Wednesday. The 69-year-old – who will be 70 on January 27th – is leaving the San Diego State Aztecs football program.

He had a very successful tenure with the Aztecs. He went 81-38 during his nine-years with the team.

Former San Diego State Aztecs head coach Rocky Long walks near the bench area against the San Jose State Spartans
Rocky Long walks near the bench area against the San Jose State Spartans (Getty Images)

Long guided the program to a 10-3 regular season in 2019. He also helped the Aztecs to a 48-11 win over the Central Michigan Chippewas in the 14th annual New Mexico Bowl at Dreamstyle Stadium on December 21st, 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“Obviously I’ve decided to retire from coaching at this point, and I want to thank everybody at this university and in this community that have allowed us to be successful,” Long said. “Everybody knows that nobody does it alone and the people in the athletic department as well as the university do everything to support our athletes in order for our athletes to be successful. The culture at this school and in this athletic department is something special.

“Being able to be part of that for the last 11 years, for all those things that that seems like a long time. I’ve been a head coach for 20 years. It’s time. It’s time. I love coaching, but I don’t necessarily love all the things that head coaches do.”

Four of his nine seasons at the school, he guided the Aztecs to 10 or more wins. His best record at the school was 11-3 regular seasons, which the team accomplished in 2015 and 2016.

San Diego State went 4-5 in Bowl games under Long. The New Mexico Bowl win snapped a two-game Bowl losing streak in 2017 and 2018.

As a college football head coach, Long went 146-107. He also went 65-69 in 11 seasons with the New Mexico Lobos.

“I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to start my first year at SDSU the same year Rocky became head coach,” SDSU director of athletics John David Wicker said. “I have watched as he has developed a culture within football that now permeates the entire athletic department, a culture of toughness, grit, and hard work. A mentality that given the opportunity we can and we will defeat any opponent, whether a blue blood or someone down the street. That willingness for hard work has carried over into the classroom, where Rocky’s teams have consistently performed well and young men have graduated to careers into the NFL as engineers, teachers, police officers, and so many other success stories.

“I’m excited that Rocky might get to spend a little more time with his family in Durango (Colo.).”

Besides working at San Diego State and New Mexico, he has also been employed by the UCLA Bruins, Oregon State Beavers, TCU Horned Frogs, BC Lions (Canadian Football League, Wyoming Cowboys, and Eldorado High School.

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