When Miles was hired, he shifted some of his proposed salary into his staff search, to help attract the assistants he wanted.
It was an unselfish move. And a smart move.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Oklahoma State University (OSU) coach Les Miles, right, and defensive coach Doug Mallory react in the closing minutes of the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 2, 2004. Mississippi University (Ole Miss) won, 31-28. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
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Of Miles' early staff members, three are currently in place as key figures in the continued growth of the program, including head coach Mike Gundy.
Gundy. The former Cowboys quarterback was a finalist for the job when Miles was hired. In a stroke of genius, then-athletic director Terry Don Phillips brought both on board, with Gundy hired to serve as Miles' offensive coordinator. That worked out well.
Joe DeForest. Along with Gundy, DeForest has been at OSU for all 10 seasons of the Cowboys' renaissance, first serving under Miles and then retained as a key member of Gundy's first staff when Miles tried to lure him to Baton Rouge. DeForest is considered a strong defensive backs coach, a dynamic recruiter and one of the nation's top special teams minds.
Todd Monken. When Darrell Wyatt left as wide receivers coach — for, gasp, OU — after just one season, Miles brought in Monken, who molded Rashaun Woods and John Lewis and others into big-play wideouts. Monken went to LSU with Miles before stepping into the NFL, but has returned to the Cowboys as offensive coordinator.