Gundy Meets With Team

New Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy met with his football team for the first time Monday afternoon – the first day of classes for the spring semester – in the team meeting room at the Athletic Center. The returning squad was joined by three junior college transfers in Hinds J.C. defensive lineman Ryan McBean, Hutchinson C.C. defensive tackle Josh Pinaire and NEO A&M J.C. wide receiver Tevin Williams.

Gundy was accompanied by associate head coach Joe DeForest, new tight ends coach Doug Meacham, new offensive line coach Joe Wickline, new director of football operations Jimmy Gonzales, assistant director of football operations Dale Patterson, the strength and conditioning staff, and the graduate assistant coaches. New offensive coordinator Larry Fedora was already in Louisville, Ky., at the AFCA Coaches Convention.

In the meeting Gundy explained what went on and what his thoughts and goals are for the squad. He introduced the new staff and explained that some aspects of the program will change, but they will be changes for the better. He pledged to the team that he will do his job, which is to make sure the players have everything possible to be successful on the field and in the classroom. He went on to emphasize that the team will not shoot for seven or eight wins and a bowl bid, but that he intends to try and win every game and strive for the highest honors possible.

The reaction from the players was very positive and there seemed to be plenty enthusiasm coming back to match the enthusiasm that Gundy was showing the players in his first opportunity to talk to them as their head coach. He also informed the players that off-season workouts would start immediately and that Gary Calcagno, who he complimented for his job the past two years, would be joined by Rob Glass, the former strength and conditioning coach at Florida. He told the players that Glass would be coming in to help the squad achieve an even higher level of strength, speed and conditioning for the upcoming season.

Gundy took questions from the players and then the meeting adjourned. The new head coach was then joined by several other staff members who left for the airport where they flew to Louisville for the convention. It is expected that Gundy will interview several candidates for the remaining positions on the coaching staff, including defensive coordinator. A large number of coaches have expressed interest in coming to Oklahoma State. One new name to come up is former Nebraska quarterback coach Turner Gill who has contacted the Cowboys.

On offense the search for the final two position coaches is expected to center around the foursome of Tennessee running backs coach Trooper Taylor, Florida running backs coach Mike Locksley, OU wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt, and UConn quarterback coach Rob Ambrose. Names like Gill and Memphis assistant head coach Clay Helton are others that have been mentioned.

Gundy has said the defensive coordinator will be hired first so he can assist in completing the defensive staff. DeForest, who will continue to coordinate special teams, will assist at a position on the defensive side. The top candidates for the defensive coordinator job include Cleveland Browns linebacker coach George Edwards and Dallas Cowboys linebacker coach Gary Gibbs.

Oklahoma State is looking at having as many as 14 prospects in this weekend for their official recruiting visits, so Gundy is naturally hoping to fill more slots to assist with the recruiting workload.

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