By Kyle Boone and Adam Lunt
Mike Gundy is making a change at defensive coordinator and not retaining Glenn Spencer, paving the way for a new era for Oklahoma State on the defensive side of the ball.
So who will replace Spencer, the man who was promoted from within in 2013? Here’s a look at seven candidates who should be among the many considered.
Chad Glasgow — Texas Christian
An Oklahoma State alum, Glasgow played linebacker at OSU and even returned briefly as a graduate assistant under Bob Simmons in 1994-1995.
Glasgow’s the DC for TCU and a Gary Patterson disciple widely respected as one of the best defensive minds in the Big 12. He took over as the full-time DC in 2016 and led the defense to a Big 12-best scoring defense, rush defense and pass defense.
Tony Pecoraro — Southern Miss
Pecoraro — Southern Miss’ second-year DC — is an up-and-comer in the profession still young in his tenure at the helm of the Golden Eagles defense.
Although he doesn’t have direct connections to OSU, former Southern Miss coach (and former OSU offensive coordinator) Todd Monken might toss his name in Mike Gundy’s direction. Do a quick Google of Southern Miss’s defense and you’ll see that 2017 was a turnaround year for Southern Miss and its defense under his watch, ranking 20th nationally in total defense and 45th in scoring defense (OSU finished 79th and 85th, respectively, in those same categories in 2017.)
Jason Jones — Ole Miss
Jones is an interesting name, too. He is the co-DC at Ole Miss, and it would be a promotion for him at OSU to full time. He coached Perrish Cox, Broderick Brown, and Justin Gilbert. Then went to Ole Miss and won Defensive Backs Coach of the Year in 2014 when they led nation in scoring defense. He’s only the co-DC so he might be interested in making the jump to full time DC at OSU.
Vic Koenning — Troy
Koenning has been all over the place. He has coached at Illinois, Wyoming, North Carolina, Kansas State and, most recently, Troy. Koenning took a Troy defense that was 125th in the country in points per drive given up in 2014 that has finished in the top 12 in each of the last two years. That’s huge. He was also Clemson’s defensive coordinator from 2005-2008 in the pre-Dabo Swinney years. He also played football at Kansas State.
Brian VanGorder — Oklahoma State
Brian VanGorder is an intriguing option to watch if OSU wishes to promote from within. He joined OSU’s staff last year as an analyst a year after being ousted as chief of the Notre Dame defense, and has NFL experience coaching linebackers.
Unlike Joe Bob Clements (who we will get to next), VanGorder’s hiring wouldn’t necessarily signal Gundy’s wish to keep the same scheme, philosophy, etc. He’s an outsider who served as an analyst who was highly-regarded prior to an awful season at ND in 2015-16.
Joe Bob Clements — Oklahoma State
Another of the insiders who might be considered for the job, Joe Bob Clements has done yeoman’s work coaching up and recruiting the defensive line.
Clements joined the staff in 2013 after coming from K-State, and he’s a Bill Snyder disciple. OSU could certainly do worse, but his promotion would likely signal that Gundy wants to keep things at relatively the status quo scheme wise. Wouldn’t be splashy, but he’s been successful in every role he’s been placed in.
Van Malone — Unemployed
After a multi-year stint as the cornerbacks coach at Oklahoma State, Chad Morris stole Malone away to take over the defense at SMU. However with Morris recently taking the Arkansas job, Malone’s back on the market.
This wouldn’t be a splashy hire (and I’m not sure it would be a good one either), but Malone’s familarity with Oklahoma State is something I’m positive Gundy would value.