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The Mike Gundy coaching tree keeps growing

OSU FOOTBALL — As the Cowboys continue to have success, other schools are looking to hire away OSU's assistant coaches.
By Gina Mizell, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: December 22, 2011

— Mike Gundy joked Monday that he should start a website called “HireCoachGundysCoaches.com,” where other schools trying to pluck his assistants away from Oklahoma State could fill out an application and, essentially, get in line.

Within hours, that site was live. It was not created by Gundy but rather a Cowboy fan, who played off the school's “Hire OSU Grads” campaign and plastered a slow-motion version of the now-famous video of Gundy doing his signature dance move on the homepage.

But the joke actually holds some weight. Gundy said Monday that seven of his nine assistants have interviewed for jobs at other schools in recent weeks. And his coaching tree continues to sprout outside of OSU, as former Cowboy offensive coordinator Larry Fedora landed the head coaching job at North Carolina and former defensive coordinator Tim Beckman became the head coach at Illinois last week.

“That's a sign that, fortunately, the guys that we're hiring are good people and they're good coaches and they're doing the right thing,” Gundy said. “(The coaching tree) is going to start expanding out there pretty good.”

Much like Dana Holgorsen, who left Stillwater to become the head coach at West Virginia after just one season at OSU in 2010, offensive coordinator Todd Monken has been a popular candidate for head coaching jobs. He turned down Tulane — twice — and had discussions with Southern Miss. He declined an interview with Memphis and was also rumored to be in the mix at Illinois before Beckman was hired.

“When the team has success, everybody benefits,” Monken said. “Someday, hopefully, it'll work out for a place that wants me and it's a place I want to be. When that happens, I don't know.

“Obviously, I love being here. I wouldn't have come here if I didn't. It's going to take an awfully special job to leave. I've already had other opportunities, and I felt the best place for me to be was here.”

Associate head coach and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest was also a candidate for the Houston head coaching job, according to multiple reports.

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Branching out

Mike Gundy's coaching tree features three former OSU assistants who are now head coaches at BCS schools. Here's a look at their careers in Stillwater, and what they have done since then.

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

At OSU: Revamped and directed a potent OSU offense in his only season in Stillwater. The Cowboys ranked third in the nation in total offense (520.2 yards per game) and scoring offense (44.2 points per game) and got breakout seasons from Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.

Since OSU: Was hired at West Virginia after the 2010 season, where he led the Mountaineers to the Big East title and a berth in the Orange Bowl in his first season.

Larry Fedora, North Carolina

At OSU: Was the Cowboys' offensive coordinator from 2005-07, when players like Zac Robinson, Keith Toston, D'Juan Woods and Kendall Hunter suited up. In his last season, OSU averaged 486.3 yards and nearly 35 points per game.

Since OSU: Left Stillwater to be the head coach at Southern Miss. He compiled a 33-19 record in four seasons, led the Eagles to four bowl games and won the Conference USA title this season. He was hired to be North Carolina's head coach last week.

Tim Beckman, Illinois

At OSU: Was the defensive coordinator from 2007-08, where the Cowboys gave up an average of 28.8 points per game in his two seasons.

Since OSU: Became the head coach at Toledo. He went 21-16 in three seasons and led the Rockets to two consecutive bowl games. He was hired to be Illinois' head coach last week.

By Gina Mizell

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