STILLWATER, Okla. —
Oklahoma State held its first practice Friday since the departure of offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
With Monken, who also was the quarterbacks coach, leaving to become the new coach of Southern Mississippi, the offense is being run by a committee of coaches, including Mike Gundy.
“Practice ran smooth today. It was just like a normal day for us,’’ said OSU junior quarterback Clint Chelf of Enid said. “We've all recovered from it. We know we’ve just got to go out there and play.’’
But that’s not to say the loss of Monken hasn’t been felt.
“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve been around, as far as a people guy and Xs and Os. He was just a smart guy,’’ Chelf said. “We all understand what the business is and he got a good opportunity for his family to go be a head coach and make more money. We all understand that.’’
Chelf, who has been the starting quarterback for the past four games, is no stranger though to the coaching carousel at the coordinator position.
“I’ve been through it before. This will be my fourth guy in five years,’’ Chelf said. “So, I kind of know what to expect.’’
Gundy said he doesn’t expect any one coach, or graduate assistant, to call the plays for the bowl game against Purdue — including himself.
“We’re going to get together as a group and just do it as a group,’’ said Gundy, who used to call the offensive plays. “I’m in their meeting with them just to kind of help with the quarterbacks. But overall, we’ll just do it as a group.
“There's other guys in the room who can do it, I don’t necessarily need to do it myself. Over the next two weeks we’ll come up with a game plan and work it in practice. At the bowl site, we’ll make a decision on how we want to call it on game day.’’
Monken’s exit follows the departure of former OSU offensive coordinators Dana Holgorsen, who was at OSU for one season, and Larry Fedora, who held the position for three years before heading to coach Southern Mississippi and now is the head coach at North Carolina.
“We need some stability. It’s extremely difficult to replace coordinators,’’ Gundy said. “We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had guys that come in here and do really well and move on to become head coaches. I’d like to find some guys who create a little bit of stability at some point.’’
Gundy was unwilling to discuss reports he had offered the job opening to former Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost.
“I’ll wait until after the bowl game,’’ Gundy said. “I can’t talk about any job offers, at any situation. It’s just not fair.’’
Gundy said he’d prefer the coaching carousel not be allowed to begin until after the bowl season. Gundy’s name was attached to several job openings last week, including a premature report stating he was to be named the new coach of Arkansas.
“I’m not a big fan of what’s happening right now in college football with job changes,’’ Gundy said. “I think it’s unfair. I think that because of the way the trend’s going, it’s not right for the players. You can just go down the list of the bowl games and look at the teams that are playing that don’t have coaches. Is that really the right thing to do?
“That’s where the NCAA needs to step in. Schools are letting coaches go earlier now because pressure from a fan base, alumni base to say we need to make a change and get somebody in right now and starting recruiting right now. It creates a domino effect across the country.’’
Elmquist writes for the Stillwater NewsPress.