Van Malone Heads To SMU

Van Malone left the Oklahoma State coaching offices in the West End Zone on Monday afternoon, saying he was going with his family and they were taking him to the airport. He was flying to Dallas to join new SMU head coach Chad Morris and the rest of the staff he has put together with the Mustangs.

Malone has coached at North Dakota State, Western Michigan, North Texas, Texas A&M, Tulsa, and then Oklahoma State for the past three seasons. Malone played in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and in college for the University of Texas.

Malone will be a big loss as he was really instrumental in coaching up the Cowboys corners and also helping some with the safeties, a position he previously coached before Tim Duffie was added to the staff to take over that position group.

Malone really helped this season as young corners like Ramon Richards and Darius Curry were pressed into duty. Richards, a true freshman, played a ton of snaps after the injury to starter Ashton Lampkin, and Richards wound up leading the team with three interceptions.

Veteran cornerback Kevin Peterson, who is one of the best in the Big 12 and had shut down efforts on receivers such as Kolby Listenbee of TCU and Kevin White of West Virginia, talked about being happy for Malone.

"He's a really good coach and he's a really good friend as well," Peterson said. "He and I talk more about life than we actually do about football.

"Coach Malone is a good friend. Any time I talk about him it is more as a person than as a coach. If he can get a better job as a defensive coordinator or a head coach, I'm sure that has been a dream of his to be a coordinator or a head coach and you can't knock him about doing better for his family. I'm happy for him."

Malone has earned this opportunity and if his experience at Oklahoma State is a good example then he will be really good as a defensive coordinator at SMU.

There is no timetable to replace Malone and the staff will likely help out in coaching the corners for the bowl game. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said he and head coach Mike Gundy would work together on hiring a replacement for Malone.

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