News, Notes & Quotes - Jan. 20

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday January 20, 2017

- At 66 years old, Rocky Long isn’t slowing down at San Diego State.

After announcing a press conference to address the future of the program, SDSU announced a new 5-year deal for Long. The Aztecs are 54-26 in six years and have won two straight Mountain West titles.

“I think it’s good for the program that there’s some stability, and as my contract was coming to an end it was nice that everybody wanted me back,” Long said. “For everybody we’re recruiting, now we can say that our staff should stay the same the whole time they’re here, even though I know I’ll lose a coach here and there because of what we’ve done over the past and what we plan on doing in the future.”

- Tennessee’s AD search hasn’t begun — or it’s nearly wrapped up?

Reports earlier in the week indicated Phillip Fulmer was a strong candidate for the job and it could be finalized soon. Then the school said it will hire a search firm and put together a committee before even beginning the search. Tennessee has known for months that it will need a new AD, when Dave Hart's retirement this coming summer was announced.

On Friday, the school announced it has hired Turnkey Sports and Entertainment search firm to assist in the search. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the school’s search committee will include Peyton Manning, Jimmy Haslam and others connected to the school.

Couple this confusion with Alabama’s covert hire of Greg Byrne, and the Vols don’t look organized right now. Texas is also planning to hire a new AD. Maybe Tennessee knows what it’s doing, maybe it doesn’t.

- Mike Leach wants FBS and the SEC to know they’re not that special.

Phil Longo brings an Air Raid background to Ole Miss that he developed after attending a clinic with Leach. Leach was interviewed in a Jackson Clarion-Ledger story about Longo and noted that Longo may come from FCS Sam Houston State, but it doesn’t matter.

“I’ve got bad news for all these levels people,” Leach said. “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special. All this 'different level this, different level that.' That’s crazy. How is it better? Somebody coaches better athletes, somehow they morph into something smarter? That’s crazy. I mean, you still have problems, you still have 11 parts you can wiggle around to counter the other 11 parts.”

- A year after Bo Davis left Alabama following NCAA violations, he’s become lesson for coaches.

Davis resigned last May, and he spoke to recently about almost everything. The site reports Davis initially lied to the NCAA about impermissible contact. Now he’s a truck driver. The entire story is worth a read, including this anecdote about what he explained to some former players.

"I just tell them, 'This is life,'" Davis said. "I try to teach them that. Even once you get knocked down, you can't just stay down. I always tell them that things happen, but you have to get back up and continue on with your life. That's what I try to teach them, 'Don't wallow in your own self-pity because it's not going to help you.' I made a mistake, and I was wrong. I admit that. I should have been more upfront, and I realize that now.

"I just want people to know that I know I was wrong, and I just want my life back and to be able to support my family."

- Greg Byrne was officially introduced as Alabama athletic director on Thursday and talked about Nick Saban’s future again.

"When I was with Coach Saban the other day, he looked to be in very good shape. I hope he's the football coach for a very long time," Byrne said. "He's one of the greatest ones ever. The fact I get to work with him, I'm thrilled about it.

"When that time comes, that time will come. But I certainly hope that it's nowhere near in the immediate future and I hope it's many years down the road."

- Here is Cal’s introduction video for Justin Wilcox.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to