Before we get into the interview with Gundy, a couple of thoughts on the Cowboys new staff members, and some of this is repeat and reinforcement of ideas written in the analysis on Thursday night.
The hiring of veteran defensive coach and innovator with the 4-2-5 defense in Bill Clay and immensely experienced from junior college to OSU, OU, and Texas and then in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings in Darrell Wyatt as analysts is genius. Alabama and some other SEC teams have analysts that can't work on the field, on game day, or directly with the players but serve as idea men and advance game planners and extra evaluators in the program.
Gundy has broken new ground in the Big 12 and I predict within the month that Charlie Strong at Texas, Gary Patterson at TCU, Art Briles at Baylor, and Bob Stoops at OU will hire analysts and add them to their programs.
Finally, I have already read it here and there are some Cowboys fans that can't stand prosperity or tranquility, which after the last two seasons this program could use a dose of. They already have some of the new assistants not working together, but working to compete and perhaps, pass other coaches for their titles on the staff.
Listen to Gundy's answers in the interview. He has seen tension in his staff rooms, primarily on offense, and when hiring these additions he was looking for fits, for good chemistry in the meeting rooms, and for coaches that would work and pass on experience to younger staff members.
I've been around a lot of coaches and talked ball with a lot of coaches and while I wouldn't trust myself to be a coach I do feel like I know what a good coach looks and sounds like. Mike Yurcich is a good coach, and I think with the quarterback that he hand selected paired with a competitive offensive line with a new OL coach that is really good, this offense will have the chance to really bust out. I also look to see J.W. Walsh heavily involved in the upcoming season.
Motto for the upcoming season: It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.
Here's part one of the interview with Mike Gundy:
RA: How are you doing?
Gundy: I'm doing great, Robert.
RA: I'm at the OSSAA State Wrestling Championships and watching all these wrestlers I have never seen this many different colored and different style of Mohawks. It's a busy place.
Gundy: Well, I'm jealous. I knew you were going down there. Rules don't allow us to go to that event. I have friends that I wrestled with that have sons that are now competing in various classes. I know Stillwater is there and they have 10 wrestlers and if things go well then they could win another state championship. I'm jealous because there is nothing like the opening day of the state wrestling tournament. With those Mohawks there is a lot of school spirit and those guys have put a lot of work into being there at the end of the season.
RA: A lot of work is what you have put in the last few weeks in hiring staff. I know it is not your favorite thing to do, but you've been good at it. You've hired 30 coaches in your time as Oklahoma State head coach and you have four Division I head coaches on your family tree. You may not enjoy it and you've been good it. Take us through this latest group that you've hired.
Gundy: Really excited, Robert, and it has taken a number of weeks. There are people that love Oklahoma State football that get impatient and, at times I get a little impatient. When you have certain openings on your staff there are a lot of variables involved. Salaries, whether they will actually fit in, their personality will mesh with our staff, the position they are going to coach, and the ones that are out there that we think are the quality of coaches, recruiters that we want to work with our student-athletes they are hard to get because they are in demand.
You have to find the right fit and when you are in Stillwater it is not easy to get them in here to meet with them. You have to get them on a plane and get to Oklahoma City or Tulsa and then it takes two hours to get them here. You have to spend the time to meet with them and then you have to get them back to the airport the next day to get out of here. It takes a little more time than most of us are comfortable with.
We could do some of this prior to recruiting. I don't really believe in that. I don't think it's fair to take a coach off another head coach's staff when the guys recruiting young men to go to that school and then all of a sudden is not there at the last second. At some point I kind of have a soft heart there and that may work against us some at Oklahoma State a little bit but I think it is the right thing to do. You know me, if I think it is the right thing to do then we're going to do it either way. We were able to secure five coaches and the way it worked is it just kind of fell into place there at the end.
Jemal Singleton left to go to Arkansas to be a special teams coordinator and a running backs coach, and he got a promotion in our world and he is going to be in charge of the special teams and be the play caller in that area so we were happy and thrilled for Jemal and hate to lose him. He has been a good football coach and a loyal coach with his family to Oklahoma State football. That threw me a curve ball there at the end in going after the coaches we need to hire to win and play championship football here at Oklahoma State takes a lot of time.
I had mentioned in our press release that Coach [Mike] Holder and I worked side by side over the last couple of weeks and had a great line of communication. He understood what my vision is for the future of Oklahoma State football and trying to stay on the cutting edge in some areas. We have always done that here over the last 11 years. It takes a lot of patience with him but there are a lot of financial restrictions at times.
For the most part, without making it sound bad, he was willing to open up the checkbook. If this is something you think takes us to the next level then he was willing to facilitate it. I communicated with coach several times face to face and had conversations and we were able to work through it. He was relying on me and my knowledge and experience in hiring coaches, and I was relying on him to give us the money to be able to accommodate a number of guys.
We brought Greg Adkins in here from the Buffalo Bills. He's been there the last couple of years coaching tight ends for Doug Marrone. Doug Marrone is one of the more respected offensive line coaches in all of football. In most cases when you have a head coach that is an offensive line coach and regarded that high and he hires a person to coach the offensive line for him then you would think that person is a good football coach.
His track record is great and we talked to Phil Fulmer (Adkins worked for him at Tennessee) and he is an offensive line coach and talked to Jim Donnan (Adkins worked for him at Marshall and Georgia) and his history of being a good football coach. People say that he is going to be a guy they are going to talk about for a long time and he is a dynamic recruiter.
Phil Fulmer said when he first brought him to Tennessee he started him with the tight ends and he had a great reputation of being a recruiter and after a couple of years he moved him to the offensive line and that he was one of the best coaches that he had and he was with him for another four or five years, I believe. We are really excited to get him in here and he has a son that is a baseball player that is a draftable athlete and then he has a freshman that is a heck of an offensive linemen. (Stillwater High School football coach) Tucker Barnard will be excited that he has an offensive linemen moving in. He has a daughter that is a dancer. We will get his family in here soon.
Jason McEndoo comes from Montana State and spent 12 years there and played at Washington State, was a second-round draft pick, played in the NFL for about three years, came out and was a high school football coach, went to Montana State and worked his way up and has been there for 12 years now. He is recognized as one of the better coaches in that part of the world and as an up-and-coming offensive line coach.
He has worked with tight ends and really good personality and is very well known in that are for recruiting. He will come in and work with our tight ends and on the field and in game planning with offensive line play. He'll work with Greg (Adkins). He's got four children, I believe, one son and three daughters. We're looking forward to getting his family here.
Marcus Arroyo comes to us from Tampa Bay, where he was the quarterbacks coach and ended up coordinating their offense prior to this season and before that had been at Southern Miss and worked at Cal for Jeff Tedford and coached quarterbacks and several positions and a guy that people talked about could coach any position on offense other than offensive line. Personality is very attractive, outgoing, and figures to be a dynamic recruiter.
When you talke about those three guys and what they bring to that room, a lot of offensive line experience, and then you bring a guy into coach running backs that has experience doing everything. He's experienced in the NFL with the passing game and most coaches that hang around the NFL have to be football junkies and have to understand the game pretty well. It is extremely difficult to hang around the NFL very long if you are not a good football coach with X and O's. You find a guy like that then you have to see if you're getting a good recruiter that ties into college football. It worked out good for us.