He rode the bench as a freshman on the 1968 Lobo team that finished 0-10 under new coach Rudy Feldman. By the time he was a senior in 1971, Rocky Long had piloted UNM to consecutive winning seasons and second-place finishes in the Western Athletic Conference, and been the trigger on one of the nation's most potent running games.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound California native moved from defensive back to quarterback early in his sophomore season to operate the wishbone offense. How adept was Long at the running triple option? UNM led the WAC in rushing offense in 1970, then finished second in the nation to Oklahoma in 1971. Long led UNM in total offense three straight seasons and etched his name in the Lobo record book in several categories. He was the WAC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior and also academic all-conference.
After a brief stint playing in the Canadian Football League, Long followed in his father's footsteps of being a coach. Long has been an assistant at Wyoming, TCU, Oregon State and UCLA.
Long would return to his alma mater in 1998 as head football coach. He would spend 11 seasons at UNM, becoming the school's all-time leader in wins and guiding the Lobos to five bowl games over a six-year span.