STILLWATER — Mike Gundy again finds himself looking for an offensive coordinator after Todd Monken took the head coaching job at Southern Miss, a hiring that will officially be announced Tuesday.
But based on recent history, Gundy should have no problem finding a suitable replacement.
OSU has become a launching point for the careers of up-and-coming offensive coaches. The Cowboys' last three offensive coordinators — Larry Fedora, Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken — left Stillwater to become head coaches (or a head-coach-in-waiting) at respectable Division I schools.
But also consider this: Monken's salary this year was $600,000. That means Gundy and OSU also have the money to poach and pay an established coordinator from another staff.
A requirement for any replacement will be running the Air Raid spread offense, the system Gundy has emphasized he is committed to. That means candidates will include coaches with that type of background, or someone like Monken who can come in and learn it quickly.
Here are some early candidates for the job, based on their familiarity with OSU's offensive system.
Lincoln Riley, East Carolina offensive coordinator
Mike Leach and Holgorsen groomed Riley at Texas Tech, first as a student coach, then as a graduate assistant, then as a full-time offensive assistant coach. He was the interim offensive coordinator for the 2010 Alamo Bowl after Leach was fired. In each season at ECU, Riley's unit has ranked in the top 35 in the nation in passing offense. And he hasn't reached the age of 30 yet.
Seth Littrell, Indiana offensive coordinator