We’ve been wondering whether or not the Syracuse Orange football program would be filling their open defensive coordinator spot sooner rather than later. And while the prevailing name in those conversations has been current Navy co-defensive coordinator Brian Norwood, it appears a new name may be involved in the talks:
Sources: San Diego State head coach Rocky Long has been shopping himself for college defensive coordinator jobs. That includes Syracuse, where he's visiting today. Dino Babers has an open DC job.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 6, 2020
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel notes that current San Diego State Aztecs head coach Rocky Long has been looking for defensive coordinator roles at at least one spot — and that includes Syracuse, where he apparently is visiting on Monday.
Long has been in charge of SDSU football since 2011, compiling an 81-38 record with three Mountain West titles and four bowl wins. Most importantly, the Aztecs’ defenses have been among the best in the country for nearly that entire time. The season-by-season look quick:
- 2019: Total defense (6th) | Scoring defense (3rd)
- 2018: Total defense (21st) | Scoring defense (32nd)
- 2017: Total defense (11th) | Scoring defense (21st)
- 2016: Total defense (11th) | Scoring defense (17th)
- 2015: Total defense (5th) | Scoring defense (6th)
- 2014: Total defense (16th) | Scoring defense (13th)
- 2013: Total defense (55th) | Scoring defense (93rd)
- 2012: Total defense (39th) | Scoring defense (42nd)
- 2011: Total defense (68th) | Scoring defense (57th)
At 69 years old, Long’s definitely been coaching for some time, so it could make sense that he’d rather remove himself from some of the rigors of the head coaching gig (even in a place as relaxing as San Diego County). Long was last a defensive coordinator from 2009-10 at SDSU under Brady Hoke. He’s also been a DC at UCLA (1996-97) and Oregon State (1991-95). Though Babers and Long haven’t been on the same staff previously, it would stand to reason they have shared connections given the time both have spent in Southern California in the past.
Hopefully this turns into something. For as much as there’s been worry over the delay in hiring a defensive coordinator, bringing in someone like Long would certainly fix that concern.