Who will be Oklahoma's next offensive coordinator?

Bob Stoops' tradition has been to promote offensive coordinators from within. If that continues, the favorite is wide receivers coach Jay Norvell.
By Jake Trotter, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: December 8, 2010 at 7:51 am •  Published: December 7, 2010
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After a down season at receiver in 2009, Norvell's unit outside all-American Ryan Broyles has blossomed for the Sooners this season, especially down the stretch.

Norvell recruited a budding star in true freshman Kenny Stills, while fellow true freshman Trey Franks earned a spot in the starting lineup as well. Senior Cameron Kenney has also improved under Norvell and came up with big fourth-quarter performances against Oklahoma State and Nebraska.

Stoops and Norvell go back to their playing days together at the University of Iowa, and Norvell's vast experience as an NFL assistant is an added bonus.

Promoting Norvell alone, however, isn't OU's only option. Stoops could consider making Norvell and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel co-coordinators.

Heupel, who quarterbacked the Sooners to the national championship in 2000, has been a rising star in the coaching world ever since. Heupel reportedly interviewed for the offensive coordinator job at Minnesota back in January, and has aspirations of being a play-caller.

Since returning to OU as an assistant before the 2006 season, Heupel has done wonders with the quarterback position, tutoring Paul Thompson, Heisman winner Sam Bradford and most recently, Landry Jones, who on Tuesday won the Sammy Baugh Award, presented annually to college football's top passer.

With co-offensive coordinators, however, one coach would have to take the lead calling plays. But if that is Norvell, the Sooners could groom Heupel to become the sole play-caller down the line.