Three years removed from sitting on the sidelines for a season after being fired by San Diego State, former Kansas University offensive coordinator Chuck Long plans to take another year off from coaching.
“I’m telling people this is my red-shirt year,” Long told Steve Batterson of the Quad-City Times during a recent interview in Bettendorf, Iowa, at the Legends of Iowa Football Camp. “I never had one in college, but I’m enjoying one now.”
Long, the former Heisman Trophy runner-up who served as the leader of KU’s offense for two seasons under former head coach Turner Gill, said he was looking forward to spending the fall watching his son, Zach — also a quarterback — play his senior year of high school ball in Norman, Okla. Although Long coached at two different schools since his days as an offensive assistant at Oklahoma, his family returned to Norman when Long took the job at KU.
“I’ll probably help out a bit with the team there,” Long told the paper. “I’m looking forward to that. When you coach, family time is tough to come by. That is one of the reasons this fall will be special.’’
Sources told the Journal-World that Long also had agreed to a deal with the Big Ten Network to serve as an unpaid, part-time broadcaster for the network this fall. Long will continue to draw his $350,000 annual salary from KU until next summer.
Attempts to reach the network for this story were unsuccessful.
In addition to spending time back where he starred as a college QB and enjoying extended time with his family, Long made visits to a handful of college and professional programs this offseason.
“I’ve had a chance to go out and view a lot of practices and watch how people do things differently from one place to another, picking up things along the way,” Long said. “That’s been good for me. This year is giving me a chance to recharge a little bit and look forward to the future. By the end of the year, I’m sure I’ll be ready to get back at it.”
Big 12 media days nearing
Next week will be a week of firsts for new Kansas coach Charlie Weis and new conference schools TCU and West Virginia at the annual Big 12 Conference media days in Dallas.
Weis, along with the head coaches from the league’s other nine schools and anywhere from three to five players from each program, will get the chance to speak with media members from around the country about the upcoming season.
Quarterback Dayne Crist, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson and defensive end/linebacker Toben Opurum — all senior captains — will be KU’s player representatives.
The Jayhawks are scheduled to take their turn at the podium July 24.