In Delayed Reaction, Gundy and Cowboys Looking for New Offensive Coordinator
STILLWATER -- It is a story that seemed to take it's time, but Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is now looking for his second offensive coordinator in as many seasons as new/old Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano finally finished up the hiring of his offensive coordinator with the addition of Sean Gleeson. This is a story that started back before the Cowboys took a break from practice before heading to the bowl game and now has finally happened. The report we were hearing was that Schiano and Rutgers were also looking at other candidates, but just within the last 48 hours zeroed in on Gleeson.
Gleeson was hired by Gundy last February when then-offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich left for home in Ohio and the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach job for new Ohio State head coach Ryan Day. Both Yurcich, and his wife, Julie, are from Ohio. Of course, Yurcich is now the offensive coordinator for Texas as he was hired just days ago. That shows the upward mobility of offensive coordinators under Gundy, three of his former offensive coordinators, Larry Fedora, Dana Holgorsen, and Todd Monken have been Division I head coaches.
Gleeson in his first season as offensive coordinator had mixed results. The shining part of it was the 2,094-yard rushing season for Chuba Hubbard, who was a unanimous All-American at running back. The offense hummed through the first eight games averaging 37.5 points per game, 241.6-yards passing, 263.5-yards a game rushing, and total offense of 505.1-yards a game total offense.
The final five games of the season, without the injured Tylan Wallace at wide receiver, Oklahoma State averaged 24.4 points a game, 196.6-yards per game passing, 175.4-yards a game on the ground, with total offense of 372.0-yards a game. That is a reduction in 26.4 percent of total offense and 35 percent in points during those last five games.
The offense also suffered some after the loss of quarterback Spencer Sanders in the Kansas game, but did beat West Virginia before losing to Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
In the bowl game the Cowboys scored 21 points and had just 334-yards of total offense against Texas A&M.
Gleeson was seen as a shining start with his work at Princeton as offensive coordinator and will now continue his coaching career closer to home and in a state where he has coached most of his career.
The most important aspect of this for Oklahoma State is that Gundy is looking for a new offensive coordinator and he is likely to have plenty of candidates.
You start in-house where there was the recent turnaround with prominent receivers coach and associate head coach Kasey Dunn. Dunn was reportedly and admittedly heading to UNLV with former Oklahoma State running backs coach and Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. Following the bowl game and the return home, Dunn, after meeting with Gundy and athletic director Mike Holder, agreed to stay with a new contract and likely some new input into the program he has spent the most time currently among full-time coaching staff members helping Gundy build.
Gundy has shown a preference for coordinators that are former quarterbacks and have coached quarterbacks. One that is currently in limbo is Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator and former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken. In fact, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic ranks Monken as one of the 18 prominent NFL assistants looking to move to the college ranks.
From The Athletic:
13. Todd Monken, Browns offensive coordinator: He had a good short stint as the head coach at Southern Miss, turning a team that went 1-11 in his first season into a 9-5 squad in his third and final year before becoming the Bucs’ offensive coordinator. There’s been plenty of interest in the 53-year-old, both for college and NFL jobs, since then. Whether a college program could lure him back now is the question.
Sources we've checked with have told us that Monken is receptive to coming back to the college game and is very receptive to Oklahoma State. He would likely require more money than previous coordinators coming from the coordinator level in the NFL, but he would be well worth it. This is the play caller that helped Oklahoma State to the Big 12 Championship in 2011. Monken is close friends with Gundy. The two families have vacationed together. Monken's son, Travis, is expected to enroll as a freshman at Oklahoma State next fall. He and Gundy's middle son, Gunnar, are friends.
Monken has told me since he went to the NFL that it is easier coaching players that don't have to go to class and coaching in the NFL is nice as there is not a full-time recruiting responsibility. However, things change and Monken loves to win. Oklahoma State is set up for a chance to run for a championship in 2020.
There are other possibilities out there besides Monken and Dunn, but remember Mike Gundy's quote that he has repeated in recent years about making coaching hires.
“We have enough guys scattered who either graduated from here, played here when I’ve coached here, or have coached here since I’ve been the head coach,” Gundy has said several times. “I would say that the majority of the coaches that we hire in the future will be from that mold.”
I would be surprised if this one is not. The effort would be easy for Dunn. He is right there and then Gundy would need to hire a quarterback coach. With Monken, Gundy will have to fend off any NFL, or we understand there are other college suitors as well. He will also need to meet the salary demands of a recent NFL offensive coordinator.