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Time to bring Mike Leach to Stillwater?

Berry Tramel: If Oklahoma State needs a new offensive coordinator, why not hire a man who knows the scheme: Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.
by Berry Tramel Modified: December 15, 2010 at 10:10 am •  Published: December 14, 2010

Mike Gundy might soon need an offensive coordinator.

Someone who knows the Dana Holgorsen offense. Someone who can keep Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon excited enough to not test NFL draft waters. Someone with the offensive acumen to make 2011 the special Oklahoma State season it has every chance of being.

Mike Leach needs a job.

A fresh start that gets him out of the courtroom and back onto the gridiron. A chance to show college football that while cycling around Key West, he learned his lesson and can get along with superiors. A chance to remind decision-makers just what a difference-maker he is.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Leach to Stillwater. I'll even waive the finder's fee.

Holgorsen, mastermind of the offensive overhaul that produced a 10-2 season and the No. 14 national ranking, appears headed for West Virginia.

With him would go most of the institutional knowledge of the offense that was handed down from Hal Mumme to Leach to Holgorsen.

Is Gundy or one of his other lieutenants ready to maintain the Dana-mite offense? Nothing Gundy said during the season indicated such. Gundy for several years talked about Leach's offense, how few coaches really understood it or could commit to it. Gundy seemed to believe the same thing about Holgorsen's spread.

So why not offer Leach a haven? Why not make Stillwater a place of redemption, where Leach can restore his reputation damaged last year at Texas Tech?

“I'm willing to talk to anybody,” Leach said Tuesday from Key West, Fla. “Just have to see where it goes. Haven't thought about it a lot.

“You never know. They had a great season this year, and they'll have a great season next.”

OSU athletic director Mike Holder said Tuesday he would trust Gundy to hire whoever he wanted.

Sure, it wouldn't be a seamless transition.

Holgorsen's offense, refined at Houston U., veered off a little from Leach's. More run game. Narrower offensive splits.

Gundy and Leach would have to talk about that. Gundy likes to run the ball.

Not seamless. But smooth. Despite their differences, the Leach/Holgorsen offenses remain similar.

Leach's lack of a run game is overstated. His last two seasons at Tech, the Red Raiders averaged 19.8 and 21.2 run plays per game. That's a far cry from OSU's 33.3 runs per game this season, but it's a significant increase from Leach's earlier days in Lubbock.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist and Reporter
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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