And the OSU skipper will be...?

Rumors are flying, especially since two of the leading candidates are finished in Omaha. Did Anderson impress OSU Athletic Director Harry Birdwell enough when he reportedly interviewed earlier this week? Only time will tell, but fans are getting antsy awaiting the final verdict.

The coaching search that for the past few weeks had moved at a mind-numbing crawl has finally increased to the brisk gait expected.


Regardless of the speed, one aspect deserves recognition – the quality of Oklahoma State's candidates.


Frank Anderson – pitching coach at Texas. George Horton – coach at Cal. State Fullerton. Robbie Wine – hitting coach at OSU.


Recently, it was reported that Oklahoma State athletic director Harry Birdwell interviewed Horton in Omaha and that Horton was interested.


Horton led his team to the College World Series this year and has been excellent for seven years with the Titans, posting more than 300 wins in that span. He has also been a part of five Big West Conference titles and three CWS in the past four years.


He could become the third coach in the Big 12 to defect from Cal State Fullerton – UT's Augie Garrido and Oklahoma's Larry Cochell being the other two – if he should be the chosen one.


Anderson has expressed interest in the OSU and TCU coaching vacancies, and one anonymous source said he may have already interviewed for the job.


Anderson helped get Texas in the CWS from an assistant spot. In four years with Texas, the pitching staff has boasted the top spot in ERA in the Big 12 Conference all four years.


Anderson could hold the key to what kept the Cowboys out of the NCAA Tournament this year and forced their quick exit in the Big 12 Tournament. He could improve the Pokes waning pitching staff.


And the third legitimate candidate comes straight out of the Cowboys' dugout. Wine has contributed 22 years to the OSU baseball program as a player and coach while keeping the Cowboys in the upper echelon of Big 12 offensive squads.


Already proving himself in the hitting arena, and being familiar with recruitment and OSU, Wine would merely need a solid pitching coach for quick and long-term success.


While many other names float in the ether, including Southwest Missouri State coach Keith Guttin, most of them are in the same position as Guttin – merely aware that someone somewhere mentioned them.


And although many lifelong fans would love to see the return of the great and powerful Gary Ward, that, too, looks to have little possibility.


The tradition of winning baseball at OSU – credit due in large part to Ward – is legendary, which thankfully attracts successful coaches to the small OKC-Tulsa mid-city of Stillwater.


For this we should all be grateful. Because any of the candidates aforementioned could easily make a great fit for the Pokes as long as they are given the funds and the latitude to be successful.


Only time will tell, and it starts with the choice that is expected from Birdwell very soon.


Matt Palmer Staff Writer

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