Many think of graduate assistants as guys in their early 20s who cut up film and do nothing more than behind-the-scenes work for a college football program.
That certainly isn’t true at Oklahoma State.
GA Ty Linder has taken on many of the responsibilities usually assigned to a special teams coordinator. And with Bill Young currently away from the team while recovering from an undisclosed medical procedure, GA Jermial Ashley has been coaching the defensive linemen during practice.
OSU coach Mike Gundy said the mold of the grad assistant has changed in recent years. Specifically, they’re older. Linder and Ashley are both closer to 30 years old than 22 and have spent the past few seasons coaching.
Before arriving at OSU, Linder was a member of the Texas Tech staff for four seasons and spent the last two working with the tight ends and special teams. Ashley played for Young at Kansas and is in his third season working with the defensive linemen.
“They used to be 22- 23-year old guys that were just breaking in,” Gundy said. “And now, we have graduate assistant coaches who are 26, 28, 27, 29, 30, married and got a kid. So they’re more mature. It helps that they have some maturity. So we’ve got a number of guys that help us in that area that we trust.”
Added co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer about Ashley: “It’s not like you’ve got a young coach who hasn’t been around. He played for Bill, which is tremendous. And now, for three years, he’s been coaching with him. He knows his terminology. He knows what he expects. That helps me a lot.”