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Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy's coaching tree grows another branch

Doug Meachem is the latest assistant to use OSU as a step on the way up the coaching ladder.
By Gina Mizell Published: January 6, 2013

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy's coaching tree has grown another branch, with news surfacing Saturday that inside receivers coach Doug Meacham was departing Oklahoma State to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Houston.

He's just the latest assistant to use OSU as a step on the way up the coaching ladder.

Two years ago, Dana Holgorsen left Stillwater after one season as the offensive coordinator to become the head-coach-in-waiting — and quickly the head coach — at West Virginia.

Last year, longtime OSU assistant and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest took the defensive coordinator job on Holgorsen's staff in Morgantown. Additionally, former Cowboy coordinators Larry Fedora and Tim Beckman each made their next jump, becoming the head coach at North Carolina and Illinois, respectively.

And last month, Todd Monken became the latest Cowboy offensive coordinator to be hired as a head coach, taking that position at Southern Miss.

The common theme with OSU's staff is the same as the national trend — offensive coaches have much more opportunity to move up faster.

Become the OSU offensive coordinator, and a head coaching offer will come soon. Spend time as a position coach in this Air Raid spread system, and get a chance to coordinate an offense at a school that has been traditionally prolific on that side of the ball.

“(Defense) doesn't generate as much interest to where guys get fired up,” Gundy said earlier this season when talking about this subject. “Somebody's got to pay the bills. They want guys who are going to be flashy.”

Beckman is the exception. And, to a certain extent, so is DeForest, who has since been demoted to West Virginia's co-defensive coordinator after a rough first season in Morgantown, where the Mountaineers ranked near the bottom of the nation in total defense and scoring defense.

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