Defensive Line Coach
Eighth Year at Arizona
Long enters his eighth year with the Wildcats and has worked with the defensive front throughout his career in Tucson. Long and Charlie Dickey bridge the transition between the former UA staff and John Mackovic’s tenure, lending continuity and stability to the program.
In 2003, Long shifts gear with the other UA defensive coaches as Arizona dispenses with its previous defensive system and adopts the 3-4 scheme and its variations under new coordinator Mike Hankwitz.
For Long, it will afford more focus on a basic tenet of football — working to get the big guys up front into the opponents’ backfield and keep them out of Arizona’s.
In spring practice Long and colleagues worked with a good nucleus of a half-dozen players manning the nose tackle and defensive end positions, and by the end of the session it appears Arizona’s bid to improve its defense is well on the way. The Cats lost one key player to graduation from the unit and have a nice mix of upperclassmen and youthful talent.
A coach for 17 years, Long has been an assistant at Western Kentucky (1986), The Citadel (1987-1994) and Baltimore of the Canadian Football League (1994-95). He joined the Arizona staff shortly before spring 1996 drills
His first year with the Wildcats produced a couple of players who went on to NFL success – tackles Joe Salave’a, a second-team All-Pac-10 pick, and Van Tuinei, an honorable mention selection by league coaches. The following year, Salave’a checked in with first-team All-Pac-10 honors and was a third-round selection in the NFL draft. That year and in 1998, the Wildcats were No. 12 nationally in rushing defense. Also in 1997, Arizona led the league in total defense. The unit was 19th nationally in scoring defense in 1998, when Long pupil Daniel Greer, an interior tackle, was a first-team All-Pac-10 pick as a senior.
In 1999, the UA defense finished fourth in the league in total defense, and Long’s primary threat, end Joe Tafoya, led the club with 10 sacks, earning second-team all-league honors and establishing himself as a subsequent NFL talent.
In 2000, UA finished eighth nationally in rushing defense and 21st in total defense. The former was best in the league and the total defense figure was No. 2. Tafoya became an NFL draft selection and led the club with 18 tackles for loss while earning second-team All-Pac-10 honors. In 2001, tackle Young Thompson earned honorable-mention honors, as he did again last season as the lone senior in the Cats’ rotation.
Long came to UA from the CFL’s Baltimore franchise, where he spent two seasons as defensive line coach. The Stallions claimed the 1994 Eastern Division title with a mark of 14-7, the best record for an expansion club, and a year later won the 1995 Grey Cup with an 18-3 record – a league historical best.
A 1986 graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., he started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky, coaching outside linebackers in 1986. He returned to The Citadel in 1987 as a graduate assistant working with the line, then was promoted by coach Charlie Taafe and coached the line from 1988-89 and outside linebackers from 1990-92. The Bulldogs led the Southern Conference in pass defense in 1992 (128.2 yards per game), led Division I-AA in scoring defense (13.0 ppg) and were sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense with a sparkling 93.6 rating. Under his guidance as recruiting coordinator, The Citadel enjoyed five of its best recruiting classes in the school’s history. He earned a Coach of the Year Medallion from Eastman Kodak Co. in 1992.
While a student at The Citadel, Long was a Bulldogs running back. He held rank in the Corps of Cadets as Cadet Sergeant, and received a letter of commendation from the Commander of Cadets. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science in 1986.
A native of Rock Hill, S.C., Long graduated from Northwestern High School in 1982. He was a three-sport athlete lettering in football, basketball and track, earning the football team’s most valuable running back honors in his final two seasons. As a senior he gained 1,225 yards and scored 15 touchdowns and was the leading rusher in the South Carolina All-Star game.
Long has one son, Morris Jerrell. He and his wife, Donna Wong-Long, were married July 13, 1991, and the couple has two daughters, Anna Natalie and Kayla Lenore.
The Long File
|Full Name:||David Morris Long|
|Hometown:||Rock Hill, S.C.|
|High School:||Northwestern High School|
|College:||The Citadel, 1986|
|Recruiting Areas:||Greater Los Angeles|
|Bowl Experience:||1998 Culligan Holiday Bowl, 1997 Insight.com Bowl (both as UA's defensive line coach).|