Who Will Be The Next Defensive Coordinator?

In the wake of Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy announcing that he is making a change on his defensive staff with a new coordinator there is one clearly identified candidate. Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest is interested.

That would be an easy way for Gundy to go. It would give him the freedom of hiring another special teams coordinator that could help out with defense as DeForest has or hire a position coach that he feels strongly about as a coach and/or recruiter.

The other way to go would be to hire a defensive coordinator outside the program that Gundy has been impressed with. The advantage that Gundy has in making the hire is the three-year rollover contracts and attractive salaries that come with being on the Oklahoma State staff, not to mention the building boom with Boone Pickens Stadium, the Sherman Smith Multipurpose Training Center (indoor facility) and new practice fields. Oklahoma State can draw a high caliber candidate.

DeForest is one of the members of the staff that would like to be a head coach in the future and having the experience of being a coordinator is a step in that direction. DeForest is a former linebacker who can coach that position as well as the secondary. While he has not been a defensive coordinator he has served under some outstanding ones and through special teams has plenty of experience in scheming and putting together game plans. He has also had plenty of input over his tenure at Oklahoma State in the defensive staff room.

Linebackers coach Todd Bradford has also been a defensive coordinator at both Lehigh and Louisiana Tech. At Tech he coordinated the defense from 1997-2000. His experience could make him a candidate for the position or help in supporting DeForest in the position.

The best guess, and purely a guess, is that Gundy spoke with some coaches he was interested in earlier this week in San Antonio at the AFCA convention. Gundy is quite adept at working quietly and keeping a low profile in these situations. Unless one of the coaches he spoke with slips up and talks then you are not going to know who Gundy interviewed until the hiring is announced officially.

The best thing we can do is put together a profile of what Gundy is looking for in his next defensive coordinator. We're probably looking at a coach somewhere in the 35 to 45 age range, previous success as either a college coordinator or position coach with a major influence in the direction of a college defense, or an NFL position coach.

Because of the current makeup of the defensive staff it could be a coach that specializes working with any area of the defense, but more likely linebackers or secondary. As far as style of defense, you are proabably looking at a coach that is an aggressive four-man front kind of guy with maybe a little three-man front worked into it. I don't see the style of defense changing much except to be more aggressive at times. The experience and talent of the players at linebacker and in the secondary would help with that.

Here are some names, and these are purely guesses on individuals outside the program that would be candidates. When I say guesses, I really mean guesses.

Mike Cassity, former defensive coordinator at Louisville (OSU ties as defensive coordinator for Bob Simmons)

Bill Miller, former defensive coordinator Arizona State (former defensive assistant and coordinator for Pat Jones)

Brian Cabral, linebackers coach at Colorado

Joe Kines, former defensive coordinator at Alabama

Greg Mattison, co-defensive coordinator at Florida

Bradley Peveto, linebackers coach at LSU

Bobby Elliott, defensive asstistant at San Diego State

Dave Wommack, defensive assistant at South Carolina

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