Gundy On Finding Holgorsen's Replacement

Mike Gundy

It should make Oklahoma State fans happy because the same topic they seem to be spending a lot of free time thinking about (and maybe some not so free time) is also on the mind of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.

Mike Leach, some Leach disciple, or former protege of Dana Holgorsen, one of the current Cowboys assistants on offense, or a combination of the two and co-coordinators are all scenarios that fans have thought of and media have speculated about in recent days.

Gundy likely thinks about it as much but Friday he said his priority is on the players first and preparing them for the Almo Bowl game which is extremely important. Recruiting is his second priority because that is the program's future. Finding a new offensive coordinator and dealing with coaches is third.

"I think about it a little bit each day. But because I have the time I want to make sure that it is best for the players that we have on our team and then pursue whoever that may be and then handle it the right way when I am doing it," said Gundy of replacing the dynamic Holgorsen, who is heading to West Virginia, first as offensive coordinator in 2011 and then as head coach of the Mountaineers in 2012.

"I really don't think before a bowl game is the right time to do it for Oklahoma State and for whoever that may be. There will be coaches that are out there participating in a bowl game and out of respect to them I will try not to disrupt their routine in trying to prepare for that bowl game," Gundy said.

Gundy talked some in circles, which is approriate as offensive players are represented on plays as "O's". You can be sure that when Gundy gets into the serious stage of finding that next guy or guys that his tracks will be covered and hard to trace.

"My goal is to try to make the smoothest transition we can for the players we have coming back on this team," added Gundy. "I do like the system we have right now and my first choice would be to have a coach that could come in and make the transition very smooth."

He did say he was open for considering coaches currently on the offensive staff. Doug Meacham is a coach that is familiar with the offense and has coordinated versions of it at three smaller schools before coming to OSU.

Gunter Brewer has been an offensive coordinator in the past and has been co-offensive coordinator at OSU. It is expected that he would be receptive to the idea. Running backs coach Robert Gillespie is familiar with both the run and pass phases of offense and is considered and up and comer. Nobody coaches the offensive line in college football today better than Joe Wickline.

Gundy said he will talk to them all.

"I think we have quality coaches on our staff that are certainly capable of running an offense. I just have to sit down after the bowl game and I'm going to talk with each of the coaches on our staff and I want to know how much of the offense they know and what they can give on me on what we are currently running right now," said the Cowboys head coach that has taken the program to five straight bowl games.

One interesting thought is that many of the Mike Leach disciples out there are former quarterbacks including former Texas Tech signal callers Kliff Kingsbury and Sonny Cumbie. The quarterback is a major cog in operating the offense and tends to know it pretty well.

Does Gundy also grill his own quarterback in Brandon Weeden on what he knows?

"I've got a pretty good feel for this offense, and what is nice about this offense is you can change it week to week and keep the same terminology and keep it intact even though it is a totally different look," said Weeden.

"We've done a good job of implimenting new things into this offense, even things coach Holgorsen wasn't used to doing at Houston whether it is that diamond formation or running the ball as much as we did. There are a lot of things that change in this offense and if coach Gundy wants to ask, I'll tell him what I know. I doubt he asks, but we'll see," added Weeden.

While Holgorsen was a no-show for Friday's media interviews as he was traveling back from Houston, he was back in Stillwater by practice and even had Stephen F. Austin assistant Shannon Dawson with him at practice. Dawson is expected to be heading to West Virginia with Holgorsen.

Weeden said he had spoke with Holgorsen and was certain that the bowl game was a high priority for him.

"He told me, 'I'm here. I'm on board, and I'm going to be here every day at practice, and I'm all in for this last one for guys like you and Justin (Blackmon), Kendall (Hunter), and all those guys,'" said Weeden of the commitment level. "When he says that, obviously you believe it, and he wants to win 11 games because he is a competitve sucker."

Now Gundy, Weeden and Cowboy fans are hoping for a competitive sucker to take his place.

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