Oklahoma State is looking to hire a new graduate assistant.
Yes, this is significant, because it’s the position occupied for the past two seasons by Ty Linder, who essentially served as the Cowboys’ special teams coordinator (as first confirmed by the Tulsa World Thursday).
Here’s the posting from Football Scoop:
“Oklahoma State football is looking for a graduate assistant with experience coaching ALL phases of special teams and knowledge on offense with tight ends. Candidates should direct all correspondence to email@example.com.”
Linder, with assistance and influence from head coach Mike Gundy, oversaw the entire special teams plan. Other assistants focused on individual areas, such as punt and kick returns, coverage units, etc. Linder joined the staff after Joe DeForest, who coordinated special teams in addition to coaching safeties, left OSU for West Virginia.
The past two seasons, special teams have been a bit of a mixed bag for the Cowboys.
Quinn Sharp continued to be a kicking triple threat in 2012, sharing the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year award with Tavon Austin. Justin Gilbert remained one of the nation’s most electric kick returners, recording a touchdown in both 2012 and 2013. Josh Stewart was the fourth-best punt returner in the country this season (16.7 yards per return) with two touchdowns. The Cowboys led the Big 12 in kickoff coverage (40.8 net average) in 2013.
Conversely, true freshman kicker Ben Grogan went 11-of-18 on field goals this season (eighth in Big 12 in percentage), while Kip Smith ranked 10th in the league in punting (39.6 yards per punt). OSU also finished 97th in the nation in punt coverage (10.47 yards per return) and particularly struggled in its last two games.
Based on this posting, it appears that job will continue to belong to a graduate assistant.