Chuck Long Emerges As a Major Candidate For Offensive Coordinator

by JustinC on January 10, 2013 · 21 comments

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Long_San_Diego_St_1216_t640For most Virginia Tech fans, the letdown of not hiring Pep Hamilton will be a tough pill to swallow. However, Hamilton will likely end up as the 49ers next offensive coordinator if I had to guess. The Hokies just don’t have the resources to overcome that one. Other than that, a deal could have happened. If you want somebody to blame, feel free to blame the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Now, back to the name that has emerged in the last hour. Chuck Long is currently coaching high school football in Norman, Oklahoma. That’s not a great look for somebody who may move into an offensive coordinator spot at a place like Virginia Tech. But, Long has had successful stints on his resume. From 2002-2005, he was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops.

In fact, Long was the QB coach (and Coordinator) when Jason White won the Heisman in 2003. For Logan Thomas, who is looking for a coach who could develop him next season, Long is not a bad hire.

Long’s last two stints were unsuccessful though. After a five year stay in Norman, he took the head coaching job at San Diego State and went an abysmal 9-27 in three seasons. He then found a job under Turner Gill at Kansas and failed to help grow the program in his two seasons there.

That said, the talent level at both programs was horrible. Gill was regarded as one of the best up and coming coaches after leading Buffalo to a MAC Championship in 2009 before flaming out at Kansas. Unfortunately, Long and the rest of his assistants went down with him.

The Numbers

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Long’s offense put up incredible numbers at Oklahoma during his stint as offensive coordinator there but his offensive units at San Diego State and Kansas struggled. Honestly, you can interpret that a few different ways. Either Long didn’t have the right players to work with, thus his system failed to produce or he couldn’t construct a system to fit a program with less talent.

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Without doing a lot of tape watching, I can’t really respond to that. But, I think the numbers his offenses put up while he was at Oklahoma is encouraging. But, his struggles after leaving Oklahoma are definitely a major concern for me.

Final Thoughts

Long hasn’t been hired so if you’re panicking over this one, calm down. This isn’t official and there are other candidates still. But, this is one that could have legs and it wouldn’t shock me to see Long as our next Coordinator.

To be honest, I was hoping for somebody who had a better resume. However, it is hard to say no to a coach who has produced two Davey O’Brien award winners and one Heisman winner at quarterback. But, Long hasn’t been relevant in ten years and he’s clearly not the home run hire most Hokie fans were longing for.

That said, Tech doesn’t need a high powered offense to be successful. Tech needs an offense that’s competent, can move the football in crunch time, and can manage the game. Alabama doesn’t break records but they're effective. To me, that’s the best kind of offense. Yes, Oregon has their way but we’ll never be Oregon (outside of the never ending jersey combinations of course).

If Long is hired, I won’t hate the hire. He deserves a chance to prove himself. Hell, I’ll take anybody not named Stinespring or O’Cain at this point.

Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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