"On the field he immediately had the respect of his players and was able to get them to do the thing he wanted them to in drills and practice. We will be lucky if we keep him long. The NFL is always trying to hire coaches like Robert Gillespie."
The NFL may have been wanting to hire him but it is just departed Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen that has lured Gillespie to follow him to West Virginia. Multiple sources in Stillwater and Morgantown, West Virginia, confirmed that Gillespie is heading that way.
Holgorsen will serve as offensive coordinator this upcoming season for current head coach Bill Stewart, but will then take over the head coaching title from Stewart for the 2012 season. Our sources said at that Gillespie will be promoted to some level of coordinator when Holgorsen takes over as head coach, whether that is co-coordinator on offense or run-game coordinator.
Gillespie played two seasons for the Washington Redskins after a stellar career at Florida (second all-time in pass receiving yards by a back). He then went on to coach for his former college and NFL head coach in Steve Spurrier at South Carolina before being hired by Gundy to come to Oklahoma State in the spring of 2009.
Gillespie has been outstanding in coaching Kendall Hunter and some of the Cowboys younger backs in Jeremy Smith and this year's standout freshman Joe Randle.
Recruiting commitments like All-American Herschel Sims of Abilene, Texas, who is in San Antonio preparing for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Game and combo running back/wide receiver Desmond Roland II of Dallas (Lake Highlands), were both being recruited by Gillespie.
The concern has to be with OSU making a solid connection in the absence of Gillespie. One source told me that Gillespie said he would call those players that he was recruiting for OSU and encourage them to stick with their commitment. That is not unusual for coaches that leave and are classy to do before leaving a school, and a coach that has been good for them and vice versa.
The opening now leaves Mike Gundy looking for an offensive coordinator and an offensive assistant coach.