Just as ESPN 101.7 The Team reported on Friday, University of New Mexico football coach Rocky Long has left the Lobos to become the defensive coordinator at Syracuse.
On Saturday, UNM made the news official with this release:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rocky Long rejoined the New Mexico Lobos three seasons ago with the idea of helping build the nation’s worst defense into a consistent top 50 defense. That mission was accomplished. The all-time winningest coach in Lobo history is headed to Syracuse to serve as the defensive coordinator for the Orangemen.
“I cannot thank Coach Long enough for everything he has done for me and for this program,” said Gonzales. “While this wasn’t an easy decision for him, it’s a tremendous opportunity for him. We accomplished our goal of improving our defense from where it was to where it is now.”
“It’s bittersweet, but our defense is on solid footing and this will allow coach Gonzales to continue to grow as a head coach,” said Long. “I’m sure Coach Gonzales and I will talk frequently, but this was an offer I couldn’t pass up to run a defense at a Power 5 school in a great Power 5 conference. I may be moving to Syracuse, but my heart will always be with UNM and the Lobos. I consider New Mexico my home.”