I swear, Mike Gundy hires coordinators the way a blogger would do it.
… So Gundy went searching. He didn’t care about scheme — four-man front, three-man front, didn’t matter — he cared about results. Who took rosters not necessarily bubbling with elite talent and produced effective defenses?
Gundy figured the only way to find out was the internet.
So he devised his own criteria. Strong in points-per-possession, the new and best way to gauge defenses. Who regularly got off the field with minimal damage from a scoring standpoint? Who might be enticed by an OSU program not rooted in tradition but brimming with success the last decade?
Gundy figured the internet was his friend. He spent what he estimates as 20 hours over two weeks to personally figure every Football Bowl Subdivision team’s points allowed per possession, except he threw out results after games got out of hand and threw out Hail Marys — of which Gundy knows a thing or two.
Gundy said he did the research himself. “I wanted to make sure it was done right,” Gundy said, though if a 50-year-old wants something done right with 21st-century technology, delegating to someone under 18 might be the way to go.
Gundy came up with his list of stingy defenses. Alabama and Georgia were near the top of the list. He figured those might be dry holes for the Cowboys.
“I had to base it on, if somebody’s just better than the other team, there’s a reason why they’re successful,” Gundy said. He also didn’t bother with coaches he figured were entrenched at their school. “Like the guy (Bud Foster) at Virginia Tech’s not leaving Virginia Tech,” Gundy said.
Gundy came up with seven candidates. Knowles intrigued him. Duke had finished 14th or 16th in the Gundy rankings. The Blue Devils were hanging tough in the ACC, despite talent far below the level Clemson, Florida State and Miami. “I thought probably athletically we were at least as good if not better than Duke on defense,” Gundy said.
Knowles got the job. Oklahoma State is currently seventh in the country in defensive yards per play. Lesson to be learned?
Most coaches hire people they know, or people known by the people they know.
“Worst thing you can do, in my opinion,” Gundy said of the latter.
Eh, probably not.