Originally Published: Sep 23, 2010 8:27 PM CDT
Its only three games in, but all signs point to Dana Holgorsens hire as new OSU offensive coordinator being a home run. After three games the Cowboys rank 2nd nationally in total offense, 2nd nationally in scoring offense and 1st in passing offense. It may be tough to keep Holgorsen around when head coaching jobs come open, but you would hope he would stick around for at least another year.
The demise of a football program can often be traced to the continuity of its coaching staff. There are generally two things that can lead to a staffs deterioration:
1.You fill your staff with young coaches who have fast success and other programs come in and offer promotions and more money and swipe them away. It becomes impossible to hire the best coaches because your staff is being constantly raided.
2.You fill your staff with guys who stick around forever, become way too set in their ways and the program stagnates.
Gundy has been able to walk a fine line between the two sides. If you take current coordinators Bill Young and Dana Holgorsen out of the mix, 2 of the 3 other coordinators Gundy has hired have gone on to head coaching jobs. But of the current coaches on the staff (again other than the coordinators) only one has been on the staff less than three years (RBs coach Robert Gillespie) and none have been there more than 10 (Assoc. HC and Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeForest).
You have to give Gundy credit for the way that he has approached his philosophies on offense and defense and for the coordinators hes hired on both sides of the ball. He has been proactive in locating the best potential candidates to fit the styles that he wants his Cowboys to play. He always seems to be thinking ahead and hes not afraid to admit its time for a change.
On the defensive side Vance Bedford ran the show for two years, but could do no better than national rankings of 95th and 89th so the two parted ways.
Gundy went out and got a young guy in Tim Beckman who had ties to Urban Myer and Jim Tressel at Bowling Green. Beckman became a hot-enough commodity to land the Toledo head coaching job.
Gundy saw the need for a better defense and more stability. So he turned to the OSU alum and veteran with a proven good track record in Bill Young. Season one under Young was a huge step. The Cowboys improved from 93rd to 31st in total defense. And for continuitys sake, Young is an OSU guy which likely assures that he will stay around to see the job through.
Then theres the offensive side. Larry Fedoras three seasons in Stillwater produced prodigious numbers and some of the most exciting and balanced offenses in school history. Fedora bolted to become the Southern Miss head coach.
Gundy assumed the coordinator role himself with assistance from wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer and offensive line coach Joe Wickline. That worked great in 2008. But last season with Dez Bryant out and Kendall Hunter injured, the offense grew somewhat stagnant in the latter fourth of the season. Gundy decided calling plays and being a head coach wasnt working. He saw the need for a style that would better fit players the Cowboys have a good chance to land in recruiting. He saw the need for a change. Enter Holgorsen.
If you think about it, the way the Cowboys have it now may be the ideal way for a program to hire its coordinators.
On defense, go with a guy who has a proven track record of stability and success. A guy who will stay and build an identity and a reputation.
On offense, continue to be innovative and stay ahead of the curve with coaches who have fresh philosophies.
And then with your other positions, find guys who can recruit their butts off. Because without players, the coordinators dont matter that much.