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Oklahoma State football: Question Mike Yurcich at your own risk

COMMENTARY — OSU's new offensive coordinator arrives from Shippensburg (Pa.), where his teams piled up the points, even if they were playing Division II football.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 7, 2013

“I coached against (Notre Dame's) Brian Kelly when he was at Grand Valley State,” Darragh said. “They cut their teeth here (in Division II) and move on.”

Truth is, all kinds of offensive ingenuity comes from the fringe of college football. Tim Layden's fabulous book, “Blood, Sweat & Chalk,” details the origins of some of football's groundbreaking strategies.

The Air Raid wasn't born at Kentucky or Texas Tech. Hal Mumme primed it at Iowa Wesleyan and Valdosta State.

The run-and-shoot came from Mouse Davis at Portland State, and Mouse says he got it from Tiger Ellison at Middletown (Ohio) High School.

Emory Bellard invented the wishbone at Texas in 1968. In 1966, Bellard was coaching San Angelo Central High School.

Don Coryell's Air Coryell offense got its start in 1961 at San Diego State, two seasons after Coryell was coaching at Whittier College.

Tubby Raymond unveiled the Wing-T at Delaware. The Power I came from Tom Nugent at VMI.

Good coaches, even great coaches, can be found at every level. Some get the chance to move up, some don't.

Some bright minds stay in places like Shippensburg, or Abilene, or Grand Valley, or Ada, their entire career, making $52,500, which is what Shippensburg paid Yurcich in 2012. His OSU predecessor, Todd Monken, made $600,000.

You want the biggest difference between Stillwater and Shippensburg? Start with the money, not the strategy.

I don't know if Yurcich will be as innovative or as successful as Monken. Maybe he will be more so.

But this I know. All great coaches come from somewhere. Shippensburg, like New Hampshire, is somewhere.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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