By Jeff Latzke, AP Sports Writer
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Before he can get around to choosing a starting quarterback, new Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has other work to do. First, he has to learn the Cowboys’ productive, fast-paced offense.
Since he was hired a month ago to replace Todd Monken, Yurcich has been studying video of Oklahoma State’s games from the past few seasons and trying to master the offense that he’ll be controlling. He’s the second straight coordinator coach Mike Gundy has brought in to adapt to the Cowboys, not the other way around.
“Right now, I’m so involved in trying to learn the Oklahoma State offense that I have really not even come close to trying to tweak or adjust or develop the offense,” Yurcich said Thursday in a teleconference, his first interview session since being hired. “I want to get involved and learn what these players know and what they’ve been good at. I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know where the tweaks will come and when they will come, if they will come.”
Yurcich, who previously worked at Shippensburg in Division II, enters the rare situation of inheriting three quarterbacks who won games as a starter last season.
Enid’s Clint Chelf began the season as the third-stringer but ended up as the starter, even after Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh recovered from injuries.
Yurcich said he hasn’t determined who will be the first-stringer when the Cowboys open spring practice on Monday.
“I’m going to hold off all assessments on quarterbacks until I’m able to see them live and in person throughout spring drills and in spring practice,” he said.
So far, he’s been absorbed in learning whatever he can from the players and other coaches.
He’s found it striking the way Oklahoma State has been able to move at such a fast pace, score efficiently and still avoid turnovers. The Cowboys have ranked in the top five in the nation in total offense each of the past three seasons under Dana Holgorsen and then Monken.
“I feel like I’m on track. I feel like I’m on schedule,” Yurcich said.
Yurcich said he had no pre-existing relationship with Gundy before getting hired last month, and he wasn’t sure exactly how he’d been discovered after never working at the Division I level before.
“You work so hard your whole entire career, and to see it flourish and to see an opportunity like this come my way, I couldn’t be any more happy than I am right now and what I was when I first learned that I got the job,” Yurcich said.쇓