STILLWATER â€” As soon as he finishes his weekly duties for the Oklahoma State football program each Monday, head coach Mike Gundy has one main priority.
To ensure his coaching staff remains intact.
â€œThat's my priority right now, to keep everything intact,â€ Gundy said.
With Dana Holgorsen at the helm, OSU's offense has exploded in 2010. The Cowboys lead the nation in total offense at 547.5 yards per game, rank No. 2 in passing offense at 359.1 yards per game and No. 3 in scoring offense at 45 points per game.
Gundy expects teams to pursue the Cowboys' first-year offensive coordinator, but he would be disappointed if Holgorsen left for another offensive coordinator job.
â€œIf we lose him to be a head coach, we lose him to be a head coach,â€ Gundy said. â€œOr if somebody in the NFL pays him $2 million to be a coordinator, there's nothing we can do about that.
â€œ(But) we don't want to lose coordinators to go to other schools.â€
And Holgorsen doesn't seem to be looking to leave Stillwater after one season.
â€œI try not to be one of these guys that jumps around,â€ he said. â€œI was at (Texas) Tech for eight years, at Houston for two and reluctantly left. I really didn't want to leave, I reluctantly left just because this was too good an opportunity to pass up.â€
Hanging on to Holgorsen â€” and defensive coordinator Bill Young â€” are top priorities for Gundy. Young appears likely to remain on staff until he decides to retire, and the Cowboys' coach has a blueprint for how to keep Holgorsen, who undoubtedly will be hotly pursued after this season and beyond.
â€œThere's three ways I can handle that,â€ Gundy said. â€œOne, putting them in an environment where they like working. Two, obviously, you've got to take care of them financially. I want to make sure he's taken care of. And three, we're going to do whatever we can to help him when he wants to become a head coach.â€
Holgorsen says â€œit's been greatâ€ working at OSU and feels he meshes well with the Cowboys' current coaching staff.
Holgorsen appears destined for a pay increase with his outstanding debut season. He currently earns $360,000 per season. Fellow Big 12 offensive coordinators Greg Davis of Texas ($425,000) and Kevin Wilson of Oklahoma ($430,000) each earn at least $50,000 more per season.
Gundy plans to speak with athletic director Mike Holder and â€œmake sure he knows you may have to shake the piggy bank a little bit,â€ to keep the coaching staff intact.
Gundy's goal is to keep Holgorsen around at least one more season, and with quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon likely returning and the entire offensive line remaining intact, Holgorsen would be hard pressed to find another program with more talented pieces to work with in 2011.
â€œIt's only going to get better,â€ Holgorsen said. â€œWe've won some games, and I can't see any reason why it wouldn't get better year two with everybody coming back.â€
While OSU may have to offer Holgorsen a significant raise to keep him, Gundy says it best: â€œIt seems to be worth every penny right?â€
Five potential head coaching openings at BCS conference schools Arizona State: The Sun Devils might go a different direction. Dennis Erickson's team is 4-6 overall, 2-5 in the Pac-10 this season. Georgia: Mark Richt has averaged 10 wins per season at UGA, yet that's not enough for some Bulldog fans. Illinois: Saturday's loss to Minnesota, which entered the game with the nation's longest active losing streak, could put Ron Zook's job security in question. Mississippi: Houston Nutt could be on the hot seat as the Rebels have one conference win following their Cotton Bowl trip a year ago. Colorado: The Buffs got rid of Dan Hawkins earlier this season. By Brandon Chatmon