LARAMIE -- At the conclusion of the 2019 football season, Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl was in the market for a new defensive coordinator.

Around that same time, Rocky Long was stepping down after nine seasons -- and nine consecutive bowl appearances -- as the head coach at San Diego State.

Long, then 70, wasn't ruling out the possibility of coaching again. He yearned to be a defensive coach again, a gig he mastered in stints at TCU, Oregon State, UCLA, SDSU, his alma mater, New Mexico, and yes, even Wyoming, where he served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach under Al Kincaid from 1981-85.

So, was there ever a chance that Bohl might pursue his old friend to possibly join UW's staff after the '19 season?

"I can tell you it would be like this, Rocky and I, we have the same passion for defensive football, but it's a 180-degree difference," Bohl said during his Monday press conference. "It would be like water and oil. I mean, he and I are great friends. I think if you hired us on the same staff, we'd be throwing cussing lines at one another and ruin our friendship. So, we're just better keeping it where we're at."

Long eventually rejoined the New Mexico program where he was the head coach from 1998 to 2008 as the new defensive coordinator under rookie head coach Danny Gonzales.

Bohl hired current defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel that February.

 

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Bohl's Wyoming teams and Long have gone head to head against one another five times since 2014. Bohl's record is 1-4. The lone victory came in Laramie back in November of 2016. Wyoming held off the No. 24 Aztecs 34-33 in the home finale.

Two week's later, Long's team made the return trip to the high plains for the Mountain West Championship game. The Aztecs escaped with a 27-24 win inside a frigid War Memorial Stadium.

The latest meeting came last December. New Mexico snapped an FBS-worst 14-game losing streak, topping the Cowboys 17-16 in Las Vegas. The Lobos also put an end to a 20-game conference losing skid that night inside Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Lobos -- and Long -- will be in Laramie again this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Wyoming's offense has struggled mightily over the past two weeks, both loses, at Air Force and at home against Fresno State. The Bulldogs took advantage of five Cowboys turnovers last Saturday and rolled to a 17-0 victory. UW hasn't scored a point in its last six quarters.

New Mexico's offense has been equally as bad, failing to score once in its last two outings. The Lobos might be just what the doctor ordered for this Cowboys' squad.

Long's defense, however, could be another story.

"Nobody knows his defense better than Rocky, who is back in the saddle," Bohl said. "He's been disruptive. So, I'll look forward to shaking his hand before the game.

"... He's going to do his part to come up with a great scheme and we're going to have to match it and best it."

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players