Mike Gundy has found his offensive coordinator, and it's a surprise
Nearly two months after Todd Monken departed Oklahoma State to become the head coach at Southern Miss, Mike Gundy has found his replacement, and it's not one that anyone saw coming. Gundy has stepped into the Division II ranks to pluck Mike Yurcich from Shippensburg University out of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
In his first year at Shippensburg, the Red Raiders finished 7-4 and ranked ninth in Division II in total offense and 14th in scoring offense. But it was this fall when Yurcich's offense stepped into high gear, as the team led Division II in total offense at 529.9 yards per game and placed second in passing offense (387.7 ypg) and scoring offense (46.9 points per game).
The Red Raiders posted an 11-2 record, reaching the second round of the Division II playoffs. The squad topped 35 points 11 times in its 13 games, posted more than 40 points nine times, and beat the 50-point barrier on a half dozen occasions. Quarterback Zach Zulli was the star of the Shippensburg attack, ranking third nationally in total offense and fifth in passing efficiency. The junior connected on 342-of-544 passes for 4,747 yards with 54 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Those numbers allowed Zulli to also lead Division II in total passing yards and points responsible for.
A 1999 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania who has spent all but two years of his decade-plus coaching career at the sub-FBS level, Yurcich undoubtedly takes a long ride on the career elevator with this move. Not only does he step into an offense which ranked fourth in total offense and third in scoring offense in FBS, it returns three quarterbacks that saw significant action in 2012 as well as four of its top five pass catchers.
Most significantly, Yurcich arrives at a position where his predecessors include the aforementioned Monken, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen and North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora. Gundy has a proven eye for offensive coaching talent, and he may have unearthed his latest gem in Yurcich.
Shippensburg isn't exactly a fixture on ABC's Saturday Night Football package, so we reached out to our Twitter followers to see what those who knew Yurcich could expect Oklahoma State's offense to look like under his direction.
@footballscoop did QC for him here at Ship. Great hire. A coach on the rise— Chris Pavone (@ChrisPavone84) February 7, 2013
@footballscoop fast paced no huddle, very aggressive. A mixed bag of styles but the ball will be in the air alot. He gets after it— Chris Pavone (@ChrisPavone84) February 7, 2013
Thanks to KFOR reporter Nate Feken, here's Yurcich at Shippensburg breaking down a play using Star Wars legos.