Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy’s finishing school

by Berry Tramel Published: December 10, 2012

I don’t know why I used that headline. I just thought it was funny. A finishing school. I picture it as a place where young women go to learn manners and charms and all the things they need to land a husband of fine repute.

That’s not what Mike Gundy’s running in Stillwater, of course. What he’s running is a trade school. Come to Stillwater, put in a year or three, and you’ll leave with a very good job. At least that’s the plot for OSU football in recent years.

Larry Fedora, three years as offensive coordinator, then on to Southern Miss and eventually to North Carolina.

Dana Holgorsen, one year as offensive coordinator, then on to West Virginia as coach-in-waiting and the wait wasn’t long. Holgorsen became head coach in his first year in M0rgantown.

Todd Monken, two years as offensive coordinator, now off to Southern Miss to drive down Larry Fedora Boulevard.

OSU has replaced OU as Middle America’s marketplace for a head football coach. Bob Stoops lost six coordinators in an 11-year span — Mike Leach in 1999, Mark Mangino in 2001, Mike Stoops in 2003, Chuck Long in 2005, Kevin Sumlin in 2007 and Kevin Wilson in 2009. That’s four offensive coordinators, one defensive coordinator (Mike Stoops) and one non-coordinator assistant (Sumlin).

But since December 2008, Gundy has lost three assistants to head coaching jobs — Holgorsen, Monken and d-coordinator Tim Beckman (Toledo, now Illinois).

That means Gundy should have his pick of the litter. Any sharp offensive coordinator willing to adapt to the Holgorsen/Monken offense should sprint to Stillwater. You want to be a head coach at a decent school? OSU is among the nation’s best opportunities.

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by Berry Tramel
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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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