Should Gundy hire from within? Or go outside the program?
As Mike Gundy continues to narrow down his search for a new offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, there are several things to keep in mind.
After the Cowboys Alamo Bowl win over Arizona, Gundy said his priority was quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon. Their decisions to remain at OSU has made Gundy’s decision a bit easier.
With a talented passer like Weeden at the helm, Gundy would like to keep continuity within the offense.
An internal hire like Doug Meachem, Gunter Brewer or Joe Wickline, each of whom Gundy feels has the ability to be an offense coordinator, would be Gundy’s best bet for continuity and an offense which resembles Dana Holgorsen’s.
Remember, Holgorsen’s offense, while built on core principles of the “Air Raid” attack, was a unique offensive system. He took aspects of what he learned from Mike Leach and added more running game, more tempo and more motion.
That’s what makes it tough to duplicate.
So don’t automatically assume there are coaches outside of the program who are better fits for what OSU is trying to do with its offense, especially if they are trying to mirror Holgorsen’s attack as closely as possible.
While those considerations point to an internal hire, Gundy has also expressed the desire to hire a quality play caller. When asked if previous play calling experience was an essential for the Cowboys new offensive coordinator, Gundy called it a priority.
“I don’t think anything is a essential but it always helps because it’s such an important part of the game,” he said. “There are guys who have called plays in other offenses that could adapt to the style we are looking for that could eventually help you. It’s not mandatory but it makes it easier.”
And that might make hiring from outside the program the best bet.
Several external candidates could be in play. Mike Leach is the obvious name but hiring Leach could be problematic. East Carolina’s Lincoln Riley, Houston’s Jason Phillips and Troy’s Kenny Edenfield have play calling experience. All three coaches put up big offensive numbers this season at their respective schools.
One potential complication of hiring from outside the program is giving someone the keys to the offense without the power to bring in an offensive staff of their own. Gundy could bring someone in but giving that offensive coordinator the power to hire and/or fire other offensive coaches on staff…
Another option could be promoting internally and bringing in someone from the outside as a quarterback coach to properly tutor the Pokes’ stable of young quarterbacks behind Weeden. Ideally, a guy like former Texas Tech quarterbacks Kliff Kingsbury, who could be tough to hire away from Houston for strictly an quarterback coaching position. Or another young quarterbacks coach with a strong background in the “Air Raid” system.
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