I like Mike Gundy's hire of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator. I like it a lot.
I like Monken's background, including his three years at Oklahoma State. Guys who have been in Stillwater and want to come back are in for no surprises.
I like Monken's days at LSU, a program that is where OSU is trying to be. I like Monken's NFL experience; the Jaguars run a solid ship. If Jack Del Rio thinks enough of Monken to make him the Jacksonville quarterback coach, then Monken is plenty qualified to coach Brandon Weeden and J.W. Walsh.
But here's what I like best about Monken. I think he will fit well with the staff.
God bless Dana Holgorsen, who was an 11-month marvel running the State offense, but I don't know that staff cohesion was a forte of the 2010 Cowboys.
The finished product was just fine — way better than fine — but you kept hearing stories that Gundy's staff, including Gundy himself, felt a little alienated from the guy running the offense.
Neither Gundy nor Holgorsen has bitten on such talk, but it makes sense. Holgorsen arrived with carte blanche over the offense and made no secret of his unorthodox schedule preferences. He was a late riser, which is as rare for a football coach as it is for a farmer.
“Part of the arrangement was, he's going to let me do the deal,” Holgorsen said in December of his agreement with Gundy. “He just let me go with it.
“I had to coach the coaches. Coming in, I didn't bring anybody with me. We had quality coaches, but they didn't know what I did offensively. So I had to coach coaches.”
Sounds like Mike Leach in his one year as OU's offensive coordinator, and a decade later Bob Stoops has admitted some of the turmoil that ensued.
Don't expect that with Monken, who says he will tinker only a little with OSU's offense and whatever form the offense takes will be a “collective” effort.
“The fact of the matter is, we've got good players, we've got a good place, it's not rocket science,” Monken said. “Let's go out there and field what will be Oklahoma State's offense and not one person coming in and changing it up.”
Staff cohesion is not mandatory for success. But I believe it is mandatory for sustained success. Monken seems to be a choice that will play well in the offices overlooking Boone Pickens Stadium.
Monken was very popular in his Stillwater days, and here's the proof. The coach who left OSU, Les Miles, thought enough of Monken to take him along to LSU. The coach who stayed at OSU, Gundy, thought enough of Monken to bring him back.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.