Coaching Staff Hiring Update

Many members of the Oklahoma State coaching staff are attending the American Football Coaches Association Convention in Anaheim, Calif. With so many of the OSU coaches tied in a way to Executive Director Grant Teaff (Gundy, Joe Wickline, new coach Trooper Taylor, and former OC Larry Fedora) it is respectful for the staff to make an appearance at the convention.

Associate head coach Joe DeForest stayed back in Stillwater and met with the returning squad and the new players at 5 p.m. Monday for a team meeting to set the schedule for the first couple of weeks and to repeat what is expected of the team in getting into the new semester.

The Cowboy defensive players could have some new coaches by the end of the convention as defensive coordinator Tim Beckman and head coach Mike Gundy are believed to be interviewing several candidates.

The names we have uncovered are former Miami, Fla., defensive coordinator Tim Walton. Walton is a candidate for the defensive backs position. He was fired by Miami head coach Randy Shannon at the end of the season, but the former All-Big 10 defensive back at Ohio State has done well coaching the secondary at Miami, LSU, Syracuse, and at Bowling Green for Beckman in 1999.

Another name is North Carolina linebacker coach Tommy Thigpen. He also coached defensive backs for Beckman at Bowling Green in 2001-2002. A four-year starter at linebacker at North Carolina, Thigpen has also coached at Illinois.

Mike Ward is the current defensive coordinator at Bowling Green, which was chewed up by Tulsa on Sunday night in the GMAC Bowl. Turnovers certainly assisted Tulsa in that rout. Ward was the defensive line coach for six seasons at Bowling Green working under Beckman as defensive coordinator.

Another name is Dale Jones, who is a veteran on the Appalachian State staff and coached defensive line eight seasons before moving to linebackers the past two seasons. Appalachian State, of course, is a repeat NCAA Championship Sub-Division national champion. Jones was a standout at Tennessee as a player. He also has coached at Tennessee and Florida.

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