LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – Rocky Long is no stranger to the land of enchantment as well as the college football landscape. He spent 11 years coaching at the University of New Mexico and led the Lobos to five bowl games in his tenure.
Long will make his way back to New Mexico on Saturday with the San Diego State Aztecs in a matchup against New Mexico State. He is 9-3 all-time against the Aggies, 5-2 at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces.
Long feels like the NMSU head coaching job, which has been handled by Doug Martin since 2013, is one of the toughest jobs in the country.
“I think the New Mexico State job is a very difficult job,” said Long. “The coaching staff that is there now has done an unbelievable job. They know what they’re doing. They are a great coaching staff and they’ve done a good job recruiting. I mean, you hate to say that when they had to play Washington State and Alabama. You haven’t seen them on film like I have.”
After spending 11 years coaching in the Rio Grande Rivalry, Long knows a thing or two about the NMSU job. He certainly does not envy the way the Aggies were forced to start the 2019 season, road games at Washington State and Alabama.
“They had to go out and play those guys for the payday. You talk about the have’s and have not’s. They’re going to play Ole Miss too and they’re going to make 3.8 million dollars to support their athletic department,” said Long. “You have to do that in places like New Mexico State in order to keep the athletic department alive.”
Since arriving at SDSU in 2011, Long and the Aztecs have compiled a record of 73-35 (46-17) with three Mountain West Conference championships and eight bowl game appearances.
SDSU opened as a 15.5-point favorite on Saturday against NMSU. Kickoff at Aggie Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.