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New OSU offensive coach Todd Monken: I was hired to ‘score a bunch of points and win a bunch of games'

Todd Monken has already heard the rumblings. He's heard the fears that he's going to bring back the power running game as Oklahoma State's new offensive coordinator. But for Monken, who says there's “more than one way to skin a cat”, it'll be about finding what works best for OSU.
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: February 11, 2011 at 11:34 am •  Published: February 10, 2011

Word of simmering concern has seemingly reached Todd Monken in Florida.

His word back to anyone distressed about the look of Oklahoma State's 2011 offense: relax.

No, the Les Miles Power-I won't be returning to Stillwater.

And, yes, he's smart enough to recognize the plan and the pieces in place that worked so well for the Cowboys last fall.

“That's the intriguing part, the exciting part,” said Monken, OSU's just-hired offensive coordinator, via phone from his home in the Jacksonville area. “Everybody asks, ‘Are you afraid to follow Dana Holgorsen?' Well, first of all, I'm a big fan, OK?

“I mean, I'm a big fan of anybody who scores points and does it a little bit different way. He takes what (Mike) Leach did and makes it his own and has great ingenuity. I'm a big fan.”

But Monken quickly points out that his fandom reaches beyond Holgorsen, the man he must replace, but won't necessarily imitate.

“All that being said,” Monken said of Holgorsen, “it would be unfair to the coaches who are still there and the 10 of 11 starters to say that was the only reason they moved the ball.”

Monken's resume reveals varied offensive approaches.

When he was at OSU as receivers coach under Miles, the Cowboys pushed a power running game, yet also threw it enough – and well enough – to produce a balanced offense that saw wideout Rashaun Woods set various school receiving marks, some of which still stand.

And the program's back-to-back wins over Oklahoma, OSU's last wins in the Bedlam series, are memorable for their dramatic pass plays.

It was more of the same when Monken accompanied Miles to LSU, but before that he worked with wide open attacks at Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan.

He just completed a fourth year in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where head coach Jack Del Rio had recently elevated Monken to quarterbacks coach, a move that seemed to quell rumors of his interest in rejoining Gundy and OSU. Apparently, Gundy remained persistent, possibly finding a way to up the ante on a salary package to lure Monken to Stillwater.

Gundy clearly wanted Monken back. And not to reincorporate the Miles principles, as many message-board critics fear.

“I mean, c'mon.” Monken said. “Whatever that is, people trying to read into my background, c'mon. Really? That's what I thought I'd come do?”

When Monken left with Miles after the 2004 season, he talked about the increased opportunity to attract talent and chase championships at LSU. Now he said he sees those same opportunities at OSU.

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