Photo (L-R): Optimist President Charlie Ahern Receives Handoff From Coach Rocky Long
SDSU Head Football Coach Rocky Long came to speak with the Optimist Club of Coronado, sharing his message, “Team First& Hard Work”.
Getting to the Coronado Optimists’ 7AM Thursday morning meeting was easy for Aztec coach Rocky Long. He normally gets up at 4:30 AM and is in his office about an hour later, leaving work around 9 PM.
Speaking to a full house, he told everyone present that he was an ‘old-school’ type of coach. He insists that his coaching staff provides mentoring, maintains discipline and sets high standards with the focus always being team first & hard work. He said that it is the same method he has used in all of his years of coaching and the difference between winning seasons and others is due to the talent and dedication of the athletes.
During the lively question and answer session, he stated that football has changed a lot over the last twenty years and that most rule changes have been made to increase scoring. “In the old days, when a ball was in the air, both offense and defense players had equal rights to the ball. Now, the defense can’t hardly touch the receiver without getting a penalty”. He stated that all coaches want a great quarterback, big and strong and fast linemen, and that at the high school level, most of the top athletes play on both offense and defense. He believes in letting his quarterback make a lot of play-calling decisions because he is at the scene of action. He stated making an open field tackle of a fast, agile runner is the most difficult task in football.
The Aztec’s recent win over Boise State in Boise was the first time in Aztec football history of a win over a ranked team on the opponent’s home field. In 1977, Don Coryell’s SDSU team beat highly ranked Florida State University here in San Diego. Both were monumental wins.
It was a rousing Optimist Club meeting with a great speaker!