Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken, rumored as a top candidate for the Illinois head coaching job, said Tuesday that he has not interviewed or spoken personally with anyone at the school.
“I’m in Houston recruiting for Oklahoma State University and I have not heard from anyone about that job,” Monken said.
Monken, during a phone interview, said his next steps are trips to St. Louis and into Illinois – to recruit for the Cowboys, not meet with Illinois officials. OSU quarterback commit Wes Lunt, recruited personally by Monken, is a standout in Rochester, Ill., and likely is the subject of Monken’s visit.
Sources at OSU indicate that Cowboys coach Mike Gundy has not been contacted by Illinois officials for permission to talk to his offensive coordinator, although Monken’s agent has had some contact with officials at the school.
Monken is a native of Wheaton, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, perhaps lending to speculation linking him to the Illini job. His name has gained traction with news organizations there since Ron Zook was fired after the Illini’s regular season-ending loss to Minnesota.
The 45-year-old Monken’s roots to Illinois run deep. He’s a 1989 graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., where he was a quarterback. His father and four uncles have been Illinois high school coaches, with seven sons of the five brothers also in the business.
In his first season as OSU’s offensive coordinator, Monken’s offense ranks second nationally in scoring, averaging 49.3 points per game; and third in total offense (557.0) and passing yards (386.3).