OSU football: Coaches take unusual approach to special teams

Mike Gundy and staff are ‘collective coordinators' for spring practice — and maybe the 2012 season.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: April 8, 2012

So perhaps the question is if there's now less need for a special teams coordinator, rather than if the additional responsibility is too large for one coach.

Still, Gundy has had a special teams coordinator for his entire tenure as head coach. And DeForest built some of the best units in the nation, headlined by kickers and punters like Dan Bailey (Lou Groza Award winner), Matt Fodge (Ray Guy Award winner) and Sharp (Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year) and dynamite returners Dez Bryant (Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year), Perrish Cox (All-Big 12 returner) and Justin Gilbert (tied school record with four career kickoff returns for touchdowns).

It's important to emphasize that Gundy still has not made a final decision on — or at least made public — whether he will appoint a special teams coordinator or use the group effort approach this season. That won't come until after spring practice. Dunn said he unsure which way Gundy is leaning right now.

Gundy's got options on staff to run that unit. In addition to Dunn's experience, Jones was also a special teams coordinator at Tulsa in 2007 and Malone assisted with special teams at Western Michigan in 2004 and North Texas in 2005.

But maybe it doesn't really matter if there's a designated “coordinator.” With Sharp and Gilbert returning, OSU special teams will be expected to thrive again in 2012.

Maybe a collaborative effort really is more effective than putting the entire organizational burden on one coach.

We could find out this fall.