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Oklahoma State football: What Mike Gundy looks for when filling coaching vacancies

Mike Gundy usually isn't one to take outside advice on new coaching staff hires, instead opting to primarily research on his own.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: June 16, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy gets ready to take the field after halftime of OSU's spring football game at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Sat., April 20, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy gets ready to take the field after halftime of OSU's spring football game at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Sat., April 20, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

The spring was about fusing new coaching faces with old ones. Yurcich and Glenn Spencer gave the Cowboys a new lead voice on both sides of the ball. In fact, the entire defensive staff is made up of guys who are either completely new to OSU (Clements and Duffie) or are in a new role (Spencer and Van Malone).

Spencer is pleased with how that process has gone so far.

“The hierarchy of input, suggestions versus decisions — we're all a bunch of grown men with great ideas,” he said. “That takes some acclimation and I think over 15 days in (the spring), we did that.

“You're not just hiring a guy that knows Xs and Os. Sure, that's got to be very prominent and that's got to be a slam dunk. But it's like you're bringing somebody in your family and somebody that I'm going to be in a room in for five months out of my life … so that personality needs to be good with you, and it has been. Those are good people.”

Of course, no one will really know how well this largely reworked coaching staff can teach, game plan and mesh together until the Cowboys take the field in late August.

But one of Gundy's biggest strengths as a head coach is his ability to pick out strong assistants to hire and then let them manage their position group once they arrive. His growing coaching tree — including promotions for Todd Monken (OSU offensive coordinator to Southern Miss head coach) and Doug Meacham (OSU inside receivers coach to Houston offensive coordinator) this past offseason — shows exactly that.

And it turns out Gundy finds most of those guys without recommendations from others, even in a small coaching world.