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Oklahoma State football: Constant turnover is not a problem in Stillwater

COMMENTARY — Coach Mike Gundy doesn't need to hire a more permanent replacement for departing offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Just hire the best offensive mind around who won't change OSU's style.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 11, 2012

Todd Monken is gone. Amscray after two years as the OSU offensive coordinator, which seems short until you compare Monken with his predecessor.

Dana Holgorsen lasted 11 months. So now Mike Gundy must find an offensive chief for the third time in 36 months. What a headache.

But Gundy should resist the urge to find a more permanent solution. Should fight the temptation to hire a coordinator who doesn't aspire to a quick launch in career.

The constant turnover with the offensive headsets has not been a problem in Stillwater. In some ways, it's been a boon, and I don't mean Pickens.

Staff continuity long has been hailed as a hallmark of solid programs. But OSU has flown in the face of that theory.

Larry Fedora for three years, then Gundy for two, ran the Mad Hatter's no-huddle, dual-threat-quarterback offense. A wholesale switch to Holgorsen's Air Raid followed, which Monken kept intact.

The names and faces have changed. The only change in offensive production has been an increase. Holgorsen went to West Virginia, the Cowboys kept scoring big. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon went to the NFL, the Cowboys kept scoring big.

So Gundy absolutely should not change his tactics. Don't look for a long-term commitment. Look for a great offensive mind. Look for a coach who has some wrinkles — in his playbook, not necessarily his face; 29-year-old Lincoln Riley is fine by me — but no desire to reinvent the wheel route or any other pass pattern that has elevated OSU's offense to the national summit.

This is the lesson learned from Tulsa basketball. TU wearied of losing its coaches. The Hurricane became relevant most every March thanks to Nolan Richardson and Tubby Smith and Steve Robinson and Bill Self and Buzz Peterson.

So Tulsa did something about it. TU hired veteran John Phillips, believing he would not be enticed to leave. Tulsa was right. Phillips was not only not enticed, he was not invited. The recruiting dried up, Tulsa basketball disintegrated and now Gonzaga and Butler and Virginia Commonwealth are America's mid-major darlings, while the Hurricane hasn't sniffed March Madness since 2003.

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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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