He found it on the Internet, so it must be true.

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.


Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

21 responses to “He found it on the Internet, so it must be true.

  1. Gundy has turned out to be a much better and smarter coach than I ever thought he would.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bright Idea

    He could have just asked Fish Fry how he does it with all of that practice and all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. AugDawg

    Hiring only people you know seems to be what’s holding Bobo back from having a competent defense in Ft. Collins.

    Liked by 3 people

    • DoubleDawg1318

      It wasn’t a great strategy for CMR (or Pruitt) when they were here. I like Gundy’s approach. I wish more hiring, especially that done by AD’s, had more of a systemic research based approach.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cvegas Dawg

    A regular Billy Beane!


  5. Biggen

    This is one of Richt’s faults as well. It is a major reason why UGA never got “over the hump” during his tenure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spence

      you could make the argument


      • Spence

        weird, it just cut me off mid sentence and posted…

        you could make the argument that richt did that, sort of, with van gorder. just found a guy he was extremely impressed by despite not having a personal relationship, and went with it.


    • Corch Irvin Meyers New WR Corch

      Richt had MANY faults, and if he insisted that Butts-Mehre pay Van Gorder what he was worth at the time instead of letting him leave so he could promote his crap best friend to DC we might have won that 2007 BCS title, but if you look at Richt’s hires at Georgia, he often did not hire someone he had a relationship with.

      He hired Mike Bobo to be the QB coach, no prior relationship.

      He hired Third and Grantham, no prior relationship.

      He hired Jeremy Pruitt, no prior relationship.

      He hired Brian Schottenheimer (Why, God… why), no prior relationship.

      His fault is more trusting his coordinators to then hire the right coaches to serve under them, or hire the right strength staff, or whatever.

      The coaches he brought over from FSU didn’t really pan out all that well. Looking at you, Jon Fabris.

      So Richt is just a weird almagam of bad choices outweighing good choices; both in hires he knew and hires he didn’t.


    • PTC DAWG

      At some point, everything has to stop coming back to Richt. He’s gone…


  6. Corch Irvin Meyers New WR Corch

    Oh Soft Willie… where for art thou, Soft Willie Martinez?


  7. Anonymous

    Mike Gundy did the same thing six years ago when hiring a new OC. He plucked Mike Yurich from DII Shippensburg. I haven’t have enough caffeine to go search for the article, but he poured through stats on the internet and was looking for a guy that would stay for a while (he was tire of his guys getting poached after a year or two).


  8. Russ

    Mike Gundy to his wife when she finds him on the computer at 2:00 a.m. “Honest, I was looking at defensive coordinators!”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. stoopnagle

    Didn’t Kirby work with just about everyone on his staff? And if he didn’t he coached against them? Seems that hiring those you know or those you know know is working pretty well here.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Considering Kirby’s attention to detail i’d assume he already has a list of potential candidates when a position opens. Gundy appears to wait until the problem is on his doorstep needing a solution.

      I guess there’s little chance for advancement if you’re an assistant coach or analyst under Gundy. Looks like he doesn’t even trust others to assist with the search.


  10. Seeing Brian Schottenheimer’s atrocious offense on the field last night for the Seattle Seahawks made my stomach turn. Pete Carroll didn’t think to give Mark Richt a ring before making that blunder? I know he’s a defensive guy but the simplest of research would reveal how he turned a hot rod offense at UGA into an one speed bike.


  11. CB

    The goal is to hire good people. Whether you know them or find them online is completely irrelevant. The means don’t matter, only the ends. On that note Gundy couldn’t have been any worse of paging $40k to a search firm.