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Berry Tramel: Mike Gundy's biggest signee is Dana Holgorsen

by Berry Tramel Published: February 4, 2010

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy's most important signee is, oh, probably 5-foot-10. Maybe 190 pounds. Receding hairline. Recruited to help Gundy keep his hair.

Gundy's difference-making addition to Oklahoma State football is Dana Holgorsen, a transfer from Houston U.'s coaching staff.

Too soon to tell if Holgorsen, handed the reins of OSU's offense almost three weeks ago, will make a difference in points and yards. But Holgorsen most definitely will make a difference in Gundy's peace of mind.

All those OSU fans — count me among them — who thought Gundy was nuts to be his own offensive coordinator were right. But not for the reasons we gave.

Gundy, talking Wednesday for the first time about Holgorsen, felt fine about game-day operations. But Gundy said he felt stretched awfully thin during the week, trying to be head coach and run an offense.

"I just felt like it was taking away from my every day" duties, Gundy said. "Wear and tear."

Consider Gundy's typical Monday. In early for offensive meetings and film study, interrupted throughout the morning with head-coach responsibilities, from dealing with team issues to conducting the Big 12 teleconference. He would dash up to his weekly media briefing, then dash back and set up the practice schedule before players reported for meetings.

It was too much.

"About a week after the (Cotton) bowl, I started to think about it, being stretched too thin," Gundy said. "It made me think, I can't keep up with all this."

So Gundy considered a change and quickly looked to Holgorsen, whose Mike Leach-offense represents a most definite change in OSU's philosophy.

Holgorsen fit Gundy's three prime conditions:

1. Someone who could run the offense solo. "I didn't want a guy who would rely on me," Gundy said.

If that's a funny thing to say from a coach who's been running his own offense the last two years, agreed. But it's also exactly what Gundy did five years ago, when he hired Larry Fedora as his initial offensive coordinator and gave the Mad Hatter total control of the offense.

2. An offense that could not only conform to OSU's current personnel but also give the Cowboys the best chance of winning.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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