It was just a few weeks ago that Bob Toledo was semi-retired. He was spending his spare time as a volunteer assistant football coach at Cal Lutheran.
All the sudden things changed once he received a phone call from his old buddy Rocky Long.
"Rocky called and said, 'Hey my offensive coordinator might be leaving and if he is would you be interested?'"
A few days later San Diego State offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig left the program to take the same position at Wisconsin.
The interest was immediately there for Toledo.
"This Monday I drove down there with my wife and we talked with Rocky and his wife Debbie, looked around a little bit and told him I would go home talk to my wife then make a decision," Toledo said. "Tuesday I called him back up and said I would love to do it."
What sparked Toledo's eye to pull him out of semi-retirement?
"I just have a really great friendship with Rocky," Toledo happily described. "It's one of those things that I don't have to pick up and move. If I had to move cross the country I don't think my wife would have gone for that."
"We have worked well together in the pass, we are great friends and I think the biggest thing is that we have a great mutual respect amongst each other."
The two buddies met over 20 years ago when Toledo was at Texas A&M and Long was at TCU. Long worked as Toledo's defensive coordinator at UCLA for two seasons in 1996 and 1997. Toledo returned the favor in 2006 when he was Long's offensive coordinator at New Mexico.
The main concern about the hire amongst the Aztec fan base has been Toledo's age, 66, but he made sure that will not be a problem.
"My license says 66 but I'm really 49," Toledo laughed. "I got a lot of energy. My wife says there is no way you can sit around here and play golf, just not doing anything."
"It was one of those things when the opportunity came up I was really looking forward to it. I've got a lot of energy, a lot of gas in the tank, lets put it that way."
The former UCLA and Tulane head coach has some prior commitments that he can't get out of so he won't be able to begin the job until January 22nd.
One of the major keys with this hire is continuity, as Toledo has no plans to make any changes in the coaching staff.
"When I was there I had the opportunity to talk with Brian Sipe and of course I've know Jeff Horton for a long, long time so I meant with both of them," Toledo said. "The rest of the coaches were at the convention. We are not going to change anybody on the staff. Rocky is comfortable with what he has and I am too. It's kind of just fitting in to what they do."
Toledo hasn't been able to watch any film on the Aztecs just yet but did catch the Poinsettia Bowl on TV and was on hand for last years bowl loss to Louisiana-Lafeyette in New Orleans.
The offensive guru loves the pro-style offense so the transition should be easy for all parties. Also there is no expected set back for spring practice.
"In matter of fact I was working on the playbook today [Thursday] in what they did, what I've done, how they've called and how I've called it," Toledo explained. "I think it's a pretty easy transition."
"I told Rocky that we can continue to have the spring game at the end of March. He likes to start early so if there are any injuries they can recover for fall. I don't think there is any problem. We might have to start a little slower to install things but I think for the most part we will all be ready to go".
What does Toledo have planned for the offense once he steps on campus?
"I'd like the opportunity to meet with them as a group and individually," Toledo energetically explained. "Obviously there is some talent that is already there. They got an outstanding group of quarterbacks, running backs. Everywhere I've been I had a 1,000 yard rusher."
"We'll have a pro style offense that will feature the running game and throw the heck out of the football too. We'll hopefully try to score some points and win some games."
One area that seems like a clear upgrade over Ludwig is Toledo's strong connections on the recruiting trail.
Problem is that he can't recruit just yet, unless the SDSU target is on campus, because he hasn't taken the NCAA recruiting test for over a year.
"One of the things I have to do is take the test then I would love to talk to the commitments," Toledo said. "Hopefully they will have enough confidence of what I have done in the past to continue to be excited about San Diego State and what we are going to do on offense."
"I have coached a lot of guys that played professional football and if they want to be in a pro style offense, have that opportunity, that's what we are going to do."
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