Gundy: 'Management of a staff is one of the most difficult things to do as a head coach'
- by Zach Barnett 6 months ago
Wednesday's National Signing Day press conference was the Oklahoma State media's first chance to speak with Mike Gundy following longtime offensive line coach Joe Wickline's departure for Texas.
Along with the generic stuff - "Joe and I had a great relationship here...very instrumental in what we accomplished here" - Gundy offered a peak into the world of the brain of a major head coach.
When asked if Wickline was ever seriously considered for the Cowboys' offensive coordinator gig, Gundy danced around the question according to the Oklahoman, throwing out terms like "delicate issue" and "big egos".
It wouldn't be the first time an Oklahoma State offensive assistant left for a coordinator job elsewhere after years of being passed over in Stillwater. Doug Meachem left for Houston in 2012 (and is now back in the Big 12 at TCU) after eight seasons as a Cowboys assistant. Wickline and Meachem were original members of Gundy's staff, and passed over in offensive coordinator hirings by Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken, while Wickline was also passed over by Mike Yurcich a year ago.
Gundy also replaced defensive coordinator Bill Young in 2012 - following a season in which the Cowboys ranked second in the Big 12 in yards per play - but then immediately saw its yards per play drop by more than 0.5 yards per play and its scoring defense average drop by a touchdown per game.
The point here isn't to second guess Gundy's moves. He's 41-11 since 2010. Gundy does what he thinks is best for his program and then asks questions later. But managing a staff always takes a toll.
“There’s guys now on our staff that could be coordinators,” Gundy said. “But I have to determine what I think is best for Oklahoma State football, for whatever reasons. It’s not as easy as just moving a guy into that spot…
“The management of a staff of men who are all good enough and they’re all qualified and they all have personal goals, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult things to do as a head coach. To keep the right people, the quality of people and the chain of command in order to have success (is a challenge). And it’s never perfect.”