Marty Long is entering his sixth season at the helm of Northwestern's defensive line after coming to the Wildcats prior to the 2008 campaign.
In his first year at NU, Long's defensive line was Northwestern's most-improved and impressive unit. Led by first-team All-Big Ten selection Corey Wootton at defensive end, the Wildcats ranked 18th in the nation and second in the conference in sacks with 2.62 per game. As an individual, Wootton led the team both with 10.0 sacks (21st in the nation) and 16.0 tackles-for-loss (35th in the nation). NU's five regular starters all had a minimum of 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles-for-loss.
NU's line helped hold four different opponents to under 100 yards rushing, including limiting Ohio to an NU-school-record four net yards on the ground. Senior John Gill joined Wootton as an All-Big Ten honoree, while redshirt-freshman Vince Browne was a Rivals.com and Sporting News Freshman All-America award winner.
In 2009, NU's defensive line recorded 30.5 tackles for loss including 18 quarterback sacks to help the Wildcats rank 34th in the nation in sacks. Wootton recovered from a devastating knee injury in the 2008 Alamo Bowl to finish his year strong, becoming a fourth-round NFL Draft pick of the Chicago Bears. Browne followed up on a strong freshman campaign with eight tackles-for-loss and five sacks in 2009.
Long's unit held exactly half of Northwestern's regular-season opponents in 2010 to under 105 yards rushing as a team while combining for a whopping 41.5 regular-season tackles-for-loss -- up from 30.5 all of last year. Much of that production came from Browne, whose 15.5 tackles for loss ranked him third in the conference and ninth in NU single-season history. Included in that total are 7.0 sacks, good for the second-best per game average in the conference. Browne's performance earned an All-Big Ten second-team accolade from the media. Also picking up an All-Big Ten nod was senior interior lineman Corbin Bryant, whose 8.5 tackles for loss ranked third on the team. He was an honorable mention selection by the media.
In 2011, Long oversaw a defensive line group that regularly went eight deep, using a number of personnel combinations over the course of the year. Northwestern racked up an impressive 53.0 tackles for loss in 2011, up from 41.5 in the 2010 regular season and 29.5 two years ago. Senior Jack DiNardo was the leader among Wildcat down linemen with 6.5 TFL's and 3.0 sacks and was second in total tackles with 32.
The unit evolved into a force for the Wildcats during the 10-win 2012 campaign, ranking third in the Big Ten with 127.6 rushing yards allowed per game -- one yard shy of the school record Long's unit recorded in 2008. The defensive end tandem of Tyler Scott and Quentin Williams combined for 21.0 TFL's, 13.5 sacks and five forced fumbles, while Williams provided the exclamation point on the year with his INT return for touchdown on the third play from scrimmage at the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. Senior DT Brian Arnfelt contributed 6.0 TFLs to NU's cause in his best season as a 'Cat, and sophomore Sean McEvilly grew under Long's tutelage into a starting role next to Arnfelt.
Since graduating from The Citadel in 1986, where he played running back, Long has been coaching in the college ranks for all but two years. He was a defensive graduate assistant at Western Kentucky (1986) and The Citadel (1987) before assuming a full-time position with his alma mater in 1988. He continued coaching the Bulldogs until 1994 when he made the jump to professional football, serving as a defensive assistant with the CFL's Baltimore Stallions for two seasons.
Long then moved back into college coaching and spent 12 straight years on the West Coast, beginning with an assistant position (defensive line coach) with Arizona under head coaches Dick Tomey and John Mackovic. During his tenure in Tucson, the Wildcats fielded some of the nation's top defensive teams, ranking 12th nationally in rushing defense in 1997 and '98, and ranking eighth in rushing defense and 21st in total defense in 2000.
In 2004, Long began a three-year stint with Chris Ault's Nevada Wolfpack, coaching the defensive line. He then served on Bill Doba's staff at Washington State this past season.
Throughout his coaching career, Long has been a part of several championship teams. At The Citadel, he helped the Bulldogs to a Southern Conference championship (11-2) in 1992. With the Baltimore Stallions, they won the 1995 Grey Cup (18-3) with the greatest record in the history of the league. At Arizona, the Wildcats went 12-1 in 1998 (best season in school history) and won the Holiday Bowl. At Nevada, the Wolfpack won the WAC title in 2005 (9-3) and played in the Hawaii Bowl.
In 1992, he earned a Coach of the Year Medallion from the Eastman Kodak Company.
Long is a native of Rock Hill, S.C., where he attended Northwestern High. He graduated from The Citadel in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in math and computer science. He and his wife, Donna, have a son, Jerrell, and two daughters, Anna and Kayla.