Pat Kinnison

Who Should Gundy Hire? A Few Suggestions

Mike Gundy is looking to hire two coaches now after running backs coach Marcus Arroyo's departure to join the Oregon coaching staff. Here are Robert Allen's recommendations on who Gundy should consider.

First, Mike Gundy has shown he really doesn't need much help. Gundy has seemingly come up with good hires to his coaching staff in most cases. His batting average on successful coaching hires is really strong. His offensive coordinators in Larry Fedora, Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken all went on to become head coaches, and all still are except for Moken, who is an offensive coordinator in the NFL.

He has other hires like running backs coaches Robert Gillespie and Jemal Singleton, who have moved on to either more responsibilities at good Division I schools or onto the NFL like Singleton did with the Indianapolis Colts. Doug Meacham left to be an offensive coordinator at Houston, then TCU, and now Kansas. Defensive coordinator Tim Beckman left to be head coach at Toledo and then Illinois before being fired by the administration.

Now, Gundy is looking for two coaches and has three weeks as of Monday before the start of spring football. Most Oklahoma State fans are hoping for a reunite with former Oklahoma State player, assistant coach, and last season's offensive analyst Josh Henson, who left in January to become the co-offensive coordinator, assistant head coach, and offensive line coach at Arizona State. It remains to be seen what will happen with that slot.

The departure of Marcus Arroyo to Oregon leaves Gundy with a larger hole to fill on the offensive staff as Arroyo was more involved than coaching running backs and had proven to be an excellent recruiter. There won't be any debate over his departure as he will be a co-offensive coordinator, passing game coordinator, and likely play caller at Oregon.

Gundy needs to hire a good coach, a coach that can connect with Justice Hill and also the new additions of Chuba Hubbard and J.D. King, and can recruit more talent similar to that into the program.

Here are a few individuals that I've scouted out that I'm not saying are slam dunks but they are good possibilities to consider. Ironically, one of the guys I researched was former Les Miles' running backs coach Tommie Robinson, who worked with Gundy on that staff and was at Texas under Charlie Strong. This afternoon he was hired by LSU head coach Ed Oregeron to coach the running backs at LSU. 

Jamaal Fobbs, running backs coach, Tulane University
Fobbs played at Oklahoma State and Gundy is familiar with him and he could be a chip off the old block as his father, Lee, was a very good coach and recruiter. Fobbs was at Liberty University under former Nebraska quarterback and former Kansas head coach Turner Gill and did well there. I've spoke with Jamaal and he is sharp. He also is a New Orleans native and brings those recruiting ties to the table. Every OSU fan seems to love a native son.

Anthony Tucker, running backs coach, Arkansas State University
Tucker played for four years in the NFL with the New York Giants and he is originally out of Fresno State. He is reported to be a very good recruiter and a sharp young coach. He is in the region, which may be important. 

Delund McCullough, running backs coach, Indiana University
A former running back at Miami (Ohio) that played for the Bengals and Eagles in the NFL and also in the CFL and XFL, McCullough coached current Atlanta Falcons back Tevin Coleman and this season Jordan Howard to stellar performances. He is also reported to be an excellent recruiter. 

Derrick Nix, running backs coach, University of Mississippi
He was an excellent player at Southern Miss and then coached there before moving on to Ole Miss, where his backs have played well. He got help with the early coaching ropes as his older brother is a defensive coordinator, first at Southern Miss and then in the SEC. Another excellent recruiter by reputation. 

Brian Jones, running backs coach, University of Missouri
Was at Mizzou through the Pinkel years from 1992 on. Jones worked with Henson, both when Henson was offensive line coach and then offensive coordinator at Missouri. Knows the ropes and was always considered an effective recruiter. His running backs were well-coached. 

Anthony Steward, running backs coach, Rice University
Very young, youngest candidate I picked out since I did not list J.W. Walsh having just taken the RB coach position at Abilene Christian. Steward moved into the job after two years as a grad assistant. He was a quarterback at Kansas, so he is familiar with the Big 12. 

Claude Mathis, director of high school relations, SMU
He joined the staff of Chad Morris as running backs coach coming from a stellar career as head coach at DeSoto High School in the DFW area. Mathis coached a number of Cowboys including current wide receiver Chris Lacy. He was moved to this new role recently and may opt to want back on the field. His recruiting ties to the DFW are pretty stout. 

Jeff Traylor, running backs coach, SMU
Traylor just came in and took over Mathis' position. Traylor was at Texas as the tight ends coach for Charlie Strong as Strong hire him from Gilmer High School, where he had a legendary career coaching the Class 4A Buckeyes to all kinds of success including state championships. Maybe, he would prefer to get back in the Big 12. He has those East Texas recruiting ties.  


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