PFB Roundtable: Who Should Replace Glenn Spencer as Oklahoma State DC?

[247 Sports]
Written by Kyle Boone

Glenn Spencer’s no longer the chief of the Oklahoma State defense after OSU opted to not to retain him on Thursday.

That means Gundy has a big task at hand: Hiring his replacement. But given the talent level on the defensive side of the ball and OSU’s standing nationally, he’ll have plenty of options and a talent pool to pick from that should only improve a middling defense .. if he makes the right hire.

The PFB team discussed the news and broke down some of the candidates to watch.

Kyle Boone: Do you think Glenn’s ouster was fair/the right decision? Curious if anyone thought he deserved more time.

Kyle Cox: I would say it’s fair because that’s part of the business. He’s had five years and whether or not you think he should have been fired, that’s plenty for time for a sample size.

Kyle Porter: It was fair. His predecessor did more in less time, and OSU more or less hasn’t changed in the last three years. I think they kind of were what they were.

Phillip Slavin: I think it was the right decision, not that I ever like seeing a coach get fired. He had five years and every year the defense got statistically worse.

Adam Lunt: Cutting ties with Glenn Spencer was the right move. Great guy, but it was time. Given the fact that the defensive talent had made strides, but the results didn’t was the determining factor for me.

Boone: Yeah I agree. It was time to move on … he’d run his course and results weren’t improving with the talent.

Boone: Who would be your first and second choices to replace Spencer if you were Gundy making a new hire? Promote from within or go get a dude?

Porter: Go get a dude! I’m all in with Carson that they need to shake things up on the national level like they did with Dana Holgorsen in 2010. You won’t be able to make that kind of impact on the defensive side just because of the nature of defense within the Big 12, but I think it’s time to try.

Cox: It depends. Not to cop out but I don’t know that from within vs. outside guy is really a philosophy you should go by. But you do need a “dude”. If he’s in Stillwater, awesome. If not, hire Clemson’s secondary coach, Mike Reed or someone you found on YouTube with Gunnar’s help.

Lunt: My first choice would be Vic Koenning. He has a wealth of experience in multiple leagues and has Oklahoma ties (was born in Owasso). Has taken Troy from a bottom dweller to a top 30 defense, most importantly they improved every year he was there. Second choice would be Tony Pecoraro from Southern Miss.

Slavin: Either go grab someone from a lower level ACC school that puts up good defensive numbers, or grab the best up-and-coming Group of 5 guy. I like what Dave Huxtable has been doing at NC State. I also like the Tony Pecoraro hire, though I feel like he might take a few years to get used to the Big 12.

Boone: I’m all in with Carson on going to get a dude too. Go throw $700K at Nick Saban’s water boy or Dabo Swinney’s 7th assistant and get a guy who can overhaul the D.

Cox: OSU now has at least two spots to fill now. Makes sense now as to why they hadn’t filled No. 10 assistant spot that opened Tuesday.

Boone: I dig the Glasgow potential, simply because he’s an OSU guy. And OSU bringing in Henson was a BOON. Also wouldn’t mind hiring Gary Patterson.


Lunt: Jason Jones is an interesting name too. He is Co-DC at Ole Miss and would be a promotion for him at OSU to full time DC.

Boone: What do we think about the two potential internal candidates? Brian VanGorder (analyst, former ND D-coordinator), or Joe Bob Clements, long time DL coach with deep Bill Snyder ties?

Cox: I am open to either because I don’t know what their specific philosophy is or what they would be expected to do under Gundy if hired. I don’t like the line of thinking that “he was fired so he’s not good.” That’s a silly argument if you’ve followed college football.

Lunt: Both are interesting names. JBC certainly has put in his dues, and probably deserves an opportunity but is somewhat of a wild card. We know he’s a quality DL coach. VanGorder has a star studded resume riddled with mixed results – the good (Georgia, Atlanta Falcons) and the bad (Auburn and ND). They would be back up options if external hires fell through for me.

Porter: I’m with Lunt. They seem like fall-back options. In the same way it was necessary to go outside of the program to revamp a struggling offense in 2010, I think the same is true of the defense now. That’s probably not fair to JBC (he might be great) or BVG (he’s only been there a year!) but it is what it is.

Boone: Yeah, I mean going from working under Brian Kelly to working under Mike Gundy as DC is like Marcus Smart going from Travis Ford to Brad Stevens as his coach. He could be a sneaky good hire. And I like Joe Bob too. But neither would be my first few options though. Think you need a totally new guy from outside.

Slavin: The more I look into it, the more I like the VanGorder pick. He’s basically been auditioning what he would do to Gundy for the past year while he’s been an analyst. My question with JBC is, why hasn’t he been one before? I realize that’s an oversimplified response but it’s not illegitimate. Again neither would be my first pick. I want a guy that’s a proven recruiter and talent.

Boone: Final Q: When will/should Gundy hire someone? Right away (next two weeks) or sometime soonish but not urgently (post National Signing Day?)

Slavin: I think he needs someone in place before National Signing Day. OSU still wants to bring in a defensive tackle recruit or transfer. that will be easier to do with a defensive coordinator in place.

Porter: I say not urgent. There’s no rush other than recruiting for 2019, which your position guys can and presumably are doing.

Cox: Don’t rush it. Make this a big-time hire. Vet, interview … You’ve basically got until spring practice with no real ramifications. Gundy really making use of the early signing period.

Lunt: I’d prefer for him to take his time and make the right hire. Since OSU has most of their class already signed, there isn’t a big reason to rush a hire. I will say that other programs will be making hires as well, and some of them will have more pressure to do so before NSD. So take your time, but be cognizant of competition.

  • OSU Student

    I don’t care if you hire Brittany Spears to run the defense. Just please, for the love of all things good and holy, hire someone who does NOT play bend or break defense on third and long. I swear if I see us willingly and purposefully allow one more receiver catch a 19 yard out route on 3rd and 18 just so we make sure they don’t beat us on a go route, I may ram my head through my living room wall.

    • Big D

      Dilly! Dilly!

      • OSU Student

        Stilly Stilly!

        I apologize.

    • L2K Cowboy

      I would like to see her on the sidelines and she could recruit, so Brittany might be a good hire. But in all seriousness I agree no bend or break D.

    • Matt Hackler

      Agreed! Well stated!

    • Alec M

      “Oops I did it again” over the BPS loud speakers for each turnover/sack.

      I’m all for it

      • OSU Student

        Then it’s settled. Call her agent! It’s time to make a big splash in Stillwater. Welcome home Brittany!

        • Alec M

          Time to put a Spear in offenses around the country!

          Too far? Okay

    • Darth


      • Glen W. Walker

        I’m just here to upvote everything I see.

        • Alec M

          Out here doin the Lord’s work

      • TeaTown Cowboy

        You’re back again? You might need to do another video for Charlie Sheen, LOL.

    • I’ll bet we could recruit with Spears…

      • I think we’d have an easier time recruiting today’s kids with Arianna Grande or Selena Gomez. Just sayin’ …

    • Josh

      I agree 100%, I would rather give up 50 points playing uber aggressive than give up 48 playing bend but don’t break. Make our defense exciting again.

    • TeaTown Cowboy

      I’ve been shouting forever, BUMP a damn receiver on third-and-longs and 4th downs on occasion. A different front (5, 6) at times too. Doesn’t mean you’re gonna rush all those guys, but a different look on occasion. Ever heard of it, McFly???

      • OSU Student

        What makes it worse is he’ll try to “mix it up” by bringing a blitz, but still tells the DBs to sag! That literally counters the whole purpose of the blitz. You won’t always get a sack, but a blitz is used to rush the QB into making a bad decision. It’s pointless to bring a blitz if you’re gonna give the receivers 15 yards of space. All that does is give them more room to run. Lol

    • OSUgary

      hilariously truthful !!

  • Kenny Bir

    Matt Entz!!!! North Dakota State DC/LBs Coach!

    Perfect fit/Championship pedigree/Great defenses..

    *Drops Mic*

    • guest

      great defenses at the fcs level. Doesn’t mean he’ll do great things in the Big XII
      *pick up your mic*

      • Kenny Bir

        At this point, we just need mediocre. I’ll take an FCS DC who has proven to be consistent winner any day over a position coach getting elevated for his first job. Can’t have 1st timers anymore, especially in the BigXII.

        *Slaps Mic our of hand and drops again*

  • John P Stover

    Thank you Kyle. Hire Mike reed!!!!

  • Winning Comment

    I have this feeling we’ll grab an NFL assistant (LB/Secondary coach). Not saying it’s right or what I want, just a feeling.

    • You heard it here: The Ryan brothers (Rob and Rex) to OSU!

      • Winning Comment

        Yah, love how those two were born in Ardmore… ON A RECRUITING TRIP. I can’t even imagine. “Honey, I gotta go ask about this defensive end, but the folks at this little hospital will take care of you.”

  • Darth

    For BVG, I think he was the scapegoat for ND’s 4-8 season. His 2015 defense was ranked 34th in S&P+ and lost one possession games to Clemson and Stanford. The 2016 team ended the year ranked 23rd in S&P+ defense, and though he was fired after starting 1-3 the offense was just as much at fault down the line. If they think he can recruit, combined with his NFL background, it seems like that would be a fit.

    Also interested in the Wyoming DC (7th in S&P+, NDSU and Jacksonville Jaguars background) and Fresno DC (13th in S&P+, CFL background)

    • I find the CFL background fascinating. That is a wide-open, pass-happy professional league. Sounds a lot like the Big 12 to me.

      • Mark

        Gundy hiring someone from the CFL would be hilariously poetic after the Shippensburg hire.

  • Marc Hensley

    Les Miles? Anyone, anyone?

    • Mark

      Why? He was an offensive coach, not defensive.

      • Winning Comment

        That’s true, but it still made me chuckle a bit to see it in writing.

      • Marc Hensley

        Not at LSU, or at least not very well at LSU seemed like their defenses were always much better than their offenses. But I’m also not serious.

  • Mark

    My only concern with BVG is this: He was an analyst for us last year right? So wouldn’t you expect to see some different things on defense as the year progressed? Some improvement perhaps? Unless you can convince me that Spencer was throwing everything BVG said out the window, then I don’t see how promoting him is going to make a night/day difference.

    • Darth

      Good point, I guess the question would be, what do analysts do? Is it their job to watch and breakdown film for tendencies and patterns and then the main staff’s job to counter them, or are they involved in the game planning as well.

  • Andrew

    Please no internal hires. I’m not sold on the idea that we have a current defensive coach who will improve our defense drastically. The defense has been so awful I’m not sure how we can’t place blame on any of the current defensive coaches…

  • Guest

    Steven Godfrey from SB Nation has said that he saw Gundy at the AFCA conference this week, and since a ton of hiring happens there, it would make sense that he was interviewing candidates, which would mean that at the least, he didn’t make the move with a name already in place and isn’t automatically going with Clements or Van Gorder.

    • That or he’s doing his due diligence by interviewing other candidates before moving forward with an internal hire/promotion.

    • Darth

      He’s got a 10th non-coordinator coaching spot open too. He could be doing more routine interviews as well. Allegedly he was in Dallas Thursday/Friday which makes you think Van Malone or Glasgow

  • Sonny

    After his success with the Yurcich hire, Gundy (or his kids) is already online pouring over the defensive data of Colorado Northwestern Community College, New Mexico Highlands, and some middle school in Pocatello Idaho who’s defense has only allowed 6 pts per game over the last 3 years. In other words, whomever he finds, we’ve likely never heard his name.

  • AverageJeff

    Colby Carthel from Texas Commerce

    • champ

      I like this

      • AverageJeff

        I love it! His record is incredible and he’s a defensive guy.

  • Alec M

    Let’s save that extra money on a 10th coach and put it towards a better DC

  • Rick Hawkins

    I feel like this choice will be the biggest challenge the University has faced to date. Here’s why. EVERYONE who has been an integral part of the OSU Football program, with Coach Gundy, knows all to well what our holdup has been to move into a National Contender status! This past season is the perfect example! We as a NCAAF team are right on the threshold to move this program into the next level, and defense has been our problem for years. So making this choice will either move us up, or sent us three steps backward with the wrong choice. So my statement relies on two things; money & talent. If OSU really wants to pull the trigger this time, and take our team to the National Contender level, they will have to reach deep into their pockets to hire a existing, proven, defensive coordinator. So, unless we’re ready to spend the money, we’ll very likely remain mid-stream. My personal advice to the football decision makers is a familiar saying: “Just DO IT!!”