It was December 15th when Dana Holgorsen announced he was leaving Stillwater and heading to West Virginia. That left the Cowboys without an offensive coordinator although Holgorsen did stick around to call the plays in Oklahoma State’s victory over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl.
Fast forward to February 2nd, national letter of intent signing day by the way, and head coach Mike Gundy still hasn’t made any moves on the coordinator front. That looks like it could be changing in the next couple weeks. Gundy told the Tulsa World that he hopes to have a coordinator hired in the next two weeks.
“My goal is to finish it in 10 days to two weeks (after National Signing Day on Wednesday),” Gundy said during a Tuesday telephone interview. “I haven’t spent more than 10 minutes on it since Dana left, because of (recruiting). These last 15 days of recruiting, I’ve been all over the country. There’s been so much going on that I didn’t have much time to think”.
Gundy has been rumored to be considering co-coordinator roles for two of his assistants that remained on the offensive staff, inside receivers coach Doug Meacham and offensive line coach Joe Wickline. If that was the case, the Cowboy’s would likely stick with an offense very similar to what Holgorsen ran in his one year in Stillwater.
The other names in the report as possible candidates were Kenny Edenfield at Troy, Jason Phillips at Houston, and Nick Rolovich currently the offensive coordinator at Hawaii.
It’s not hard to see why any of these three are on Gundy’s radar. Edenfield directed a Troy offense in 2010 that finished 17th in the country averaging 453 yards per game and 20th in the nation in scoring offense (34.08 pts/gm). Gundy got to see Edenfield’s offense up close this year, as well, with Troy taking the Cowboys to the wire in Stillwater before losing 41-38.
Should Phillips end up in Stillwater, it would be the second year in a row that Houston coach Kevin Sumlin would have to replace his offensive coordinator because of a loss to the Cowboys. Phillips was promoted to coordinator before the 2010 season after Holgorsen left Houston to join Gundy’s staff. His offense finished ranked 11th (480.5 yds/gm) and 13th (37.67 pts/gm) in total and scoring offense, respectively, despite being without all-everything quarterback Case Keenum for most of the season.
Rolovich is the other name being mentioned. He also led a prolific offense as Hawaii averaged just over 500 yards per game and scored 39.57 points per contest. Hawaii also had a receiver, Greg Salas, that finished 2nd in the country averaging 134.9 yards per game receiving. Who was first? You guessed it, Justin Blackmon, who obviously Rolovich would get to coach should he get an opportunity in Stillwater.
With the Cowboys’ recruiting class signed, sealed, and delivered, Gundy said he’ll turn his focus to getting a coordinator hired. One name you’ll probably won’t find roaming the Cowboys sideline is ex-Texas Tech coach, Mike Leach. "I think that he’s a considerable long-shot. I don’t think that he’ll be an assistant coach anymore," Gundy added.
That’s probably no shock there. The downside of bringing Leach in is that it would probably be a short term solution with The Pirate likely taking the next head coaching job that came his way. Of course, if the Cowboys put up the same kind of numbers they did in 2010, he may be in the same boat no matter who he hires. I mean, who thought Holgorsen would be around for only one season entering 2010? And now he’s the head man in Morgantown, check that, the head man-in-waiting in Morgantown. With both Brandon Weeden and Blackmon returning (along with an experienced O-line), Gundy probably won't have much trouble convincing one of the above, or an unnamed candidate, to call plays for the Cowboys in 2011.