Norman QB Zach Long may be a move-in, but he's not new to town

Quarterback is the son of former NFL QB and OU assistant Chuck Long
By Justin Harper, Staff Writer, jharper@opubco.com Modified: August 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm •  Published: August 26, 2010
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— Walking down the hallway of Norman's newly constructed locker room, Zach Long looks comfortable.

Talking with teammates, the long and lean quarterback seems at ease. At the head of the huddle, he shows confidence. On the field, he appears a natural.

Not bad for a move-in sophomore.

Then again, there's a catch to Long's story. One that explains how a coaching hire at the University of Kansas resulted in the answer to Norman High's need for a quarterback.

"Everything is familiar here," said Long, who arrived in Norman from San Diego and whose sun-tinted blond hair and bronzed skin reflect that some of California came with him. "We thought this would be easier for us and be a good fit."

Indeed it is. And no introductions were necessary, because this was returning more than relocating.

Zach is the son of Chuck Long, Chuck is a former NFL quarterback and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, although he's best known in Norman for the six seasons he spent as an assistant coach at Oklahoma.

When Turner Gill became the head coach at Kansas, one of his first moves was bringing in Long, who was head coach at San Diego State from 2006-2008, as offensive coordinator.

Knowing his family would be making its second cross-country move in four years, Long and his wife Lisa decided she and the kids would return to Norman. The family has deep roots there, and they'd be in relative proximity to Lawrence, Kan.

"We were all excited," said Zach, one of five children. "We knew we were going to move and start over at a new school. Why not go somewhere we already know we like and where we know a lot of people already? We just thought it would be easier to come here."

Besides, Norman is where it all began: Chuck was born there in 1963.

But that's just the beginning. Chuck's father was a Norman native. His two oldest daughters (Lindsey and Sammy) both graduated from Norman High. Oldest son Nate, (a senior basketball player for Norman), Zach and youngest daughter Maddy had all been in Norman Public Schools before the move out west. And plenty of friends remain from families of OU staff members who coached with Chuck from 2000-2005.

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District 6A-3 coaches' poll

1. Jenks (13-1)

2. Broken Arrow (10-3)

3. Southmoore (11-2)

4. Muskogee (3-6)

5. Norman (4-6)

6. Shawnee (11-1)

7. Sapulpa (1-9)

8. Putnam City West (0-10)

2009 record in parentheses

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