Oklahoma State football: Like Mike Yurcich, others have made giant leaps from small time to big time football

Some have been huge successes. Some have not.
by Gina Mizell Published: February 10, 2013


photo - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY / OSU / COLLEGE FOOTBALL: New Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich is pictured during a 2012 game at Shippensburg University. PHOTO COURTESY BILL SMITH, Shippensburg Sports Information ------- KOD
OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY / OSU / COLLEGE FOOTBALL: New Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich is pictured during a 2012 game at Shippensburg University. PHOTO COURTESY BILL SMITH, Shippensburg Sports Information ------- KOD

STILLWATER — Mike Yurcich's jump from Division II's Shippensburg University to Oklahoma State is a big one for the new Cowboy offensive coordinator.

But there are others who have made similar leaps. Some have been huge successes. Some have not.

Here's a look at some other coaches who could have been regarded as unorthodox hires when first announced by a major college football program:

Chip Kelly

This was the most common comparison made when Yurcich’s hiring was announced last week. Kelly was hired away from New Hampshire when Oregon needed a new offensive coordinator in 2007. Two years later, he became the Ducks’ head coach and elevated that program to elite status, largely because of its up-tempo spread offense. After taking Oregon to four BCS Bowl games, the Philadelphia Eagles hired Kelly as its head coach last month.

Brian Kelly

Kelly spent 17 seasons at Division II’s Grand Valley State as an assistant and head coach before Central Michigan gave him a chance to jump to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. After three-year stints there and at Cincinnati, Kelly holds one of college football’s most prestigious jobs at Notre Dame, taking the Fighting Irish to the BCS national championship game this past season.

Gus Malzahn

Malzahn’s jump was even bigger than Yurcich’s, as he was hired to be Arkansas’ offensive coordinator after 15 years as a high-school coach in the state. Following assistant jobs at Tulsa and Auburn and one season as the head coach at Arkansas State, Malzahn is back at Auburn as the head coach.

Chad Morris

Morris, like Malzahn, was hired from the high school ranks to be an FBS offensive coordinator. Morris went from Lake Travis High School in Texas to Tulsa, then to Clemson to be the Tigers’ offensive coordinator.

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by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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