Long Named Coach at New Mexico

Calling it his “dream” job, UCLA defensive coordinator Rocky Long was named head coach at New Mexico, his alma mater, on Saturday.

Long, 47, is known for his blitzing, aggressive defenses. He spent the past two seasons directing UCLA’s defense after five years as defensive coordinator at Oregon State. He replaces Dennis Franchione, who left to become head coach at Texas Christian.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had right here at UCLA,” Long said Saturday morning before boarding a flight to Albuquerque. “I don’t think I would have taken any head job other than this one.”

Long played quarterback at New Mexico from 1969-71 and also served as an assistant coach.


“He’s done a great job here,” Coach Bob Toledo said. “He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the program. He’s very intense and very knowledgeable.”

Long agreed to a contract that an Albuquerque source said was for five years at $250,000 per year. He was paid $97,000 at UCLA.

He will remain with the Bruins through their appearance in the Cotton Bowl. Toledo hasn’t decided if he will promote an assistant to defensive coordinator, but backfield coach Marc Dove figures to receive strong consideration.