In 1985, Iowa's Chuck Long finished second to Auburn's Bo Jackson for the Heisman trophy.
Jackson won by just 45 points over Long, the smallest margin of defeat in the trophy's history...until last weekend when Mark Ingram beat out Toby Gerhart by 28 points for this year's Heisman.
Long might have lost his distinction as the closest runner-up ever, but he was awarded a valuable consolation prize instead: a return to coaching.
Former Buffalo coach Turner Gill was named the head coach of Kansas Jayhawks football. As part of the hire package, Gill awarded Long the offensive coordinator position.
While there is no professional connection between Gill and Long in terms of working together, they do have a history with one another. Gill quarterbacked at Nebraska from 1981 to 1983; Long quarterbacked at Iowa from 1982 to 1985. The two teams went head to head once in 1982.
"Turner and I go way back," said Long during an interview . "He has a strong will and you can feel that when you're around him all the time. He knows exactly what he wants to do and you admire guys like that. And he's very passionate."
The new opportunity for Long comes less than a month after the former San Diego State coach settled his contract with the school.
Long went just 9-27 as head coach at San Diego State, and was terminated from his position in 2008. But he brings a plethora of Big 12 experience to the job to make up for his failure at head coach.
From 2000-2005, Long worked for Bob Stoops at Oklahoma as a quarterback coach and eventually offensive coordinator. He helped tutor Jason White into becoming a Heisman-winning quarterback.
Coincidentally, Long took over at Oklahoma for a departing Mark Mangino.
During Long's time at Oklahoma, the Sooners were 67-11 and won a national title to go along with three Big 12 championships and six consecutive bowl games.
Before Oklahoma, Long made it a habit of breaking the record books as a player at Iowa. His 1,203 total attempts, 782 total completions, 74 total touchdowns and 10,461 total yards are still first in Iowa history. He also won the 1985 Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award and was named the Big Ten’s Athlete of the Year.
Long might be coaching for another team in a different conference, but Hawkeye fans still wish him the best. His football knowledge is far too valuable to sit behind a desk watching time go by.
Chuck Long is the George Costanza at SDSU no longer!
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