OSU Football Coaching Staff Changes

STILLWATER - Multiple sources close to the Oklahoma State football program confirmed that defensive line coach Nelson Barnes was informed on Wednesday morning that he would not be returning to the staff for next year and next season.

Barnes, who had served on head coach Mike Gundy's staff for three seasons, was brought in originally at the suggestion of former defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. Barnes, a 27-year college coaching veteran has also coached at three other Big 12 schools, Texas, Kansas State, and Nebraska. The North Texas graduate was on staff at Texas when they won the 1996 Big 12 championship and at Nebraska when they won the Big 12 and national championships in 1997.

Barnes had primarilhy coached the defensive tackles while graduate assistant Jason Young had been working the most with the defensive ends.

It is speculated that the move was to bring in some defensive staff that is more familiar with defensive coordinator Tim Beckman, his defense, and his style of coaching defense.

Beckman was hired as the Cowboys defensive coordinator last February replacing the fired Vance Bedford, who had several incidents in which he was defiant of head coach Mike Gundy. Beckman was brought in with the condition that he would coach with the current defensive staff for a season.

As replacements, a first thought was former Auburn Outland Trophy Award-winning defensive lineman Tracy Rocker. Rocker played at Auburn while Beckman was coaching there. However, Rocker left Arkansas yesterday after the Cotton Bowl and is joining former Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt at Ole Miss.

That leads to possible candidates like current Bowling Green defensive coordinator Mike Ward. Ward, a seven-year veteran of the Bowling Green staff, coached defensive tackles and line under Beckman when he was defensive coordinator at Bowling Green.

Another candidate is Doug Phillips. The former quality control coach at Ohio State when Beckman was recently with the Buckeyes, Phillips is now coaching defensive line for the Falcons at Bowling Green.

Further speculation on the offensive side of the ball is that Cowboys wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer will soon be named co-offensive coordinator along with recently hired staff addition Trooper Taylor, who coached his last game at Tennessee on Tuesday in the Outback Bowl win over Wisconsin.

Brewer will assist Gundy in game planning and play calling along with the rest of the offensive staff. Tight ends coach Doug Meacham will be named passing game coordinator and have an increased role in the offense as well.

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