NORMAN — After former Oklahoma baseball player Joe Simpson and I exchanged pleasantries to open our Tuesday telephone interview, the discussion quickly shifted to the departure of coach Sunny Golloway.
And Simpson made himself absolutely clear: “I don’t have any qualms in you quoting me on any of this. I’m so thrilled that he’s gone that they can hire a basset hound and it would be an improvement.”
Simpson, a longtime Atlanta Braves broadcaster, didn’t hold back in expressing his feelings about Golloway, who he believes didn’t want players and coaches from past eras around his program. I wrote about Simpson and just how polarizing Golloway is for the Wednesday newspaper. You can read that story here.
I asked Simpson who he would like to see hired at OU, and he already had a few guys in mind.
Simpson said he likes University of Indianapolis coach Gary Vaught, a Norman High graduate who has also been head coach at Oral Roberts and Kansas State.
“He did not play at OU — quite honestly, he wasn’t good enough to play at OU — but worked his way up the coaching ranks,” Simpson said. “He has 800 wins in his college career and a 98 percent graduation rate.”
Simpson’s other preferred candidate? Philadelphia Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan.
Jordan played and was an assistant coach at OU in the 1980s after a standout prep career at Blanchard High. Before he took the job with the Phillies in 2011, Jordan was the Baltimore Orioles’ director of amateur scouting.
“He’s been a professional scout,” Simpson said. “He’s been a professional scouting director. He’s still very much involved in the amateur game in terms of how those players are signed and developed, and because of his experience at Oklahoma, he is what we need.
“We need a guy that can bring all the different factions back together. All the different eras back together. We have a very powerful alumni.”