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.