Nov. 16, 2004
University of New Mexico director of athletics Rudy Davalos announced today that Lobos head football coach Rocky Long has been given a contract extension through the 2009 season. While specific details are still being outlined, the extension is expected to increase Long's annual compensation by $100,000 to a total of $425,000 per year. The increase is effective Jan. 1, 2005.
"I gave Rocky a letter of intent on Oct. 11, which happened to be after the Air Force game when we were 2 and 4," said Davalos. "The agreement extends his contract through 2009, which means an additional five years after the current season. I have been extremely pleased with the job Rocky has done. This is arguably one of the most successful stretches in the history of Lobo football. Rocky and Debby (his wife) are a credit to our university, the community and the state of New Mexico."
The $425,000 package includes an annual base salary of $190,000. The remainder will come from incentives, deferred compensation, radio and television shows and funds from the private sector.
"New Mexico is the only place that I considered being a head coach," said Long, who has been at his alma mater for seven seasons, since 1998. "I appreciate the confidence Rudy and the administration have in the program. The reason our program has gotten better is a tribute to a lot of people: current and former players; assistant coaches and staff; Lobo fans who have helped us set attendance records and made University Stadium a hostile environment for opponents; and governors and state legislators who have supported our cause to improve facilities."
Entering this week's regular-season finale at home against Wyoming, New Mexico is currently 6-4 and riding a four-game winning streak that has it tied for second place in the Mountain West Conference standings at 4-2. The Lobos are bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and could be headed to their third straight bowl game for the first time in school history. UNM played in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2002 and 2003.
Long, 54, is completing his seventh season at UNM. He has a 39-44 overall record, however, the Lobos are 27-21 since 2001. New Mexico is 18-9 in MWC games since 2001 and only Utah has won more league games (15) than the Lobos (14) since 2002.
Last week's victory at BYU was Long's 83rd game at New Mexico, more than any other head coach.
The brief list of UNM's accomplishments under Rocky Long:
> New Mexico has set home attendance records three of the past four seasons, including an average of 37,769 fans so far in 2004
>the seven highest semester grade-point-averages since the school began tracking grades in 1988
> bowl eligible for four straight seasons (2001-04)
> currently 4 straight wins overall, tying the longest streak under Long
> 4 road wins in one season (2004) for the first time since 1997
> at least 4 conference wins in three straight years (2002-04) for only the second time in school history (also 1958-60)
> at least 6 wins in four straight years (2001-04) for the first time since 1961-64
> four straight non-losing seasons (2001-04) for the first time since 1958-64