STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State coaching staff is officially undergoing an overhaul, with its oft-embattled defensive coordinator out of a job.
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy announced Thursday that Bill Young will not return in 2013, and that co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Glenn Spencer had been promoted to Young’s old post.
Reports first surfaced late Wednesday that Young would not be back with the Cowboys, with Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com first posting the news on his daily ticker before KFOR’s Bob Barry, Jr. reported on his sportscast that Young had been dismissed.
“We are appreciative of everything Coach Young has done for us over the past four years,” Gundy said in a release. “But we are also excited about heading in a new direction with our defense.”
The move ultimately leaves a void at defensive line coach, the position group Young led in addition to his coordinator duties. Gundy is also still searching for an offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach, as Todd Monken left OSU to become the head coach at Southern Miss and Doug Meacham will be hired as Houston’s offensive coordinator, a source told The Oklahoman Saturday.
Spencer has been on the Cowboy staff for the past five seasons and was elevated to co-defensive coordinator prior to the 2011 campaign. He’s also known as an ace recruiter in Georgia and Mississippi.
Before coming to OSU, Spencer was an assistant and head coach at West Georgia (1990-2000) and an assistant at Georgia Tech (2001-03) and Duke (2004-06).
Young’s future had been a popular storyline since the regular season ended. The 44-year coaching veteran directed an inconsistent defense in 2012, one that especially struggled in back-to-back losses at Oklahoma and Baylor to end the regular season. In those games, the Cowboys gave up 51 and 41 points and 618 and 615 yards, respectively.
Initially, it appeared a change at coordinator would come if Young decided to retire. When asked about his future following a bowl practice in mid-December, Young was noncommittal about how long he wanted to continue coaching.
Young told the Tulsa World Thursday, though, that it was determined during a meeting between Gundy and Young in February that, since Young had no plans of retiring in the near future, the 2012 season would be his last at OSU.
Young said Gundy believed Young’s age would negatively impact recruiting and his players’ ability to respond to his coaching. Young disagreed.
“We had a good discussion,” Young said. “I told him if he wouldn’t mind, please don’t put this (information) out there until I have time to finish the season and look for a new job.
“He agreed to that. He was very accommodating and was trying to help. It’s easier to get a job in this business if you have got one.”
Forcing turnovers had been a staple of Young’s defenses at OSU, with the Cowboys leading the nation in takeaways (44) a season ago. But that didn’t hold true in 2012, as the Cowboys only forced 22 turnovers.
The Cowboys also particularly struggled in the secondary this past season, ranking 110th out of 120 teams in the nation in passing defense (280 yards allowed per game) and often allowing large cushions for opposing receivers to make the catch.
Young, a former OSU outside linebacker/defensive end, was in his second stint on the Cowboy staff. He coached the offensive and defensive lines from 1976-78, before stops in the college ranks at Iowa State, Tulsa, Arizona State, Ohio State, OU, USC, Kansas and Miami. He also spent the 2001 season coaching the defensive line for the Detroit Lions.