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Oklahoma State Football

How Worried Should Oklahoma State Be on Jim Knowles?

November 28, 2021
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STILLWATER – Okay, time for panic season as the college football coaching carousel is seen a shift into overdrive. Fortunately for Oklahoma State there is no need to worry about your head coach. Mike Gundy, no doubt even more with the 37-33 win over Bedlam rival Oklahoma last night, is in a very good place loving his new President Dr. Kayse Shrum and athletic director Chad Weiberg and his new contract for the future and promise of support. Gundy feels good and has steered the attention recently to making sure his assistant coaches like defensive coordinator Jim Knowles get taken care of with new contracts.

Now, there are reports out of Florida from (wink, wink) informed sources that new head coach Billy Napier still looking to ace the press conference has eyes to hire Knowles to join him with the Gators. I’m sure Knowles will be on a lot of short lists. By the way, Knowles and Napier crossed paths as opponents in 201 when Napier was the offensive coordinator at Clemson and Knowles was in his first season at Duke, but Knowles said he is not familiar with Napier on a personal basis. A reliable source out of Norman, Okla. told me that Lincoln Riley likes the idea of having Knowles on his future staff and that appears to be at Southern Cal.

Related: Mike Gundy addresses long-term contract for Jim Knowles

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
Jim Knowles likes it in Stillwater.

The truth is Knowles is an “old school” coach with strong values and his defense is at the center of Oklahoma State’s run to the Big 12 Championship this coming Saturday against Baylor in Arlington, Texas. A win there and Knowles’ defense will be a major reason Oklahoma State will be in the College Football Playoff. Knowles, who has developed deep relationships with his players many have been with him since he arrived, will want to see what is out there to achieve through till the end.

If as these reports imply, Napier is looking for a staff to come together and help with the Early Signing Day recruiting haul then Knowles unavailability could be an issue.

The most important aspect of all this is that since Gundy has steered Weiberg and the administration to that aim, there has been talks of new deals. One source told me that Knowles is likely to become the highest paid coordinator in the Big 12 outside of the two schools scheduled to leave the conference in Oklahoma and Texas. My source tells me that Knowles deal could be worth in the neighborhood of $1.2 million to stay at Oklahoma State. He currently makes $800,000 annually.

Discussion from...

How Worried Should Oklahoma State Be on Jim Knowles?

14,855 Views | 12 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by CaliforniaCowboy
TUSKAPOKE
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SIGN HIM TONIGHT!!!
jrod1978
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Sign him ASAP!!
Joe Khatib
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Yes, yes, yes, I agree sign him ASAP and I personally think he is worth 1.4 to 1.5 million, but that is just my opinion on this subject
Raynes
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Not sure 1.4 - 1.5 will get it done .
Zen
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USC is in a position to offer Knwoles $3 million, I am guessing. I think Chad will have to sweeten the pot to $2 million to keep him down on the farm. And this does not include what teams from the NFL will be offering him. I say it will be a challenge to keep him. Gundy has the option to pull a Les Miles move by offering to give some of his salary to sweeten the pot for Knowles. Does big money have a higher value than being an old school coach who likes the culture and the community? We shall soon see. Knowles will announce nothing until after the Baylor game if we lose. If we beat Baylor and get into the playoffs he will make an announcement after playoff game. So we have till then to deal with our worries. There should be plenty of wealthy donors out there where a million bucks a year is still small potatoes to them.
Guitar54
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I'll be shocked if 1.2 million keeps him here. That's simply not enough for what he brings. Gundy would be wise to sweeten the pot with some of his own money if it actually came to that. He'll never miss another 500k to 1 million a year but he will greatly miss having Knowles as his DC. The difference would be night and day to his happiness year to year. When you live in Stillwater and are already making millions, another million does not change your lifestyle. But it does when you're only making 800k a year.

In this market, he'll easily get 2 million a year if he wants it.
Joe Khatib
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Zen said:

USC is in a position to offer Knwoles $3 million, I am guessing. I think Chad will have to sweeten the pot to $2 million to keep him down on the farm. And this does not include what teams from the NFL will be offering him. I say it will be a challenge to keep him. Gundy has the option to pull a Les Miles move by offering to give some of his salary to sweeten the pot for Knowles. Does big money have a higher value than being an old school coach who likes the culture and the community? We shall soon see. Knowles will announce nothing until after the Baylor game if we lose. If we beat Baylor and get into the playoffs he will make an announcement after playoff game. So we have till then to deal with our worries. There should be plenty of wealthy donors out there where a million bucks a year is still small potatoes to them.
If he were to leave it wouldn't be to the West Coast it would be somewhere in the SEC, where they pay Coordinators 2 million a year.
Orangeheart72
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More worrisome to me is whether Knowles is satisfied with Stillwater and central Oklahoma as a life/location and secondly, timing of this defense. What I mean by timing is he's in part so successful this year due to having a bunch of very talented, mature players. Most or at least many of the top impact players who start are graduating and moving on. So IF he has a desire to leave and/or grab for more money wherever, this might perhaps be an easier year/better performance platform year than he will have in at least the next one or two years. Plus, it appears several new coaches will be at some major teams, meaning at least three years of stability in a head coach/staff you would reasonably guess based on the normal 4 or 5 year contract norms. Having said that, he's beloved at OSU, about to make very good coordinator money, Gundy has a reputation as being a good coaches boss, is at OSU for the long haul and seems to leave Knowles alone to run his D....seemingly all good reasons to perhaps settle in at Stillwater.
CaliforniaCowboy
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not so fast my friend....

Coach Knowles is a very intelligent man, with a degree from Cornell - and he's an East Coast guy, being raised in Philly.

His kids are grown, he's nearing the twilight years, so job hopping is likely not high on his or his wife's list.

My best guess is that he and his wife are comfortable and happy in Sitllwater, and would not jump at offers just because they are there - such as USC. Why in the heck would they be interested in Los freaking Angeles? That is a brutal move for them.

Florida... now that is closer to a more permanent retirement location.

My best guess is that 1.2 or 1.5 million as a DC is not where his interest lies, and that he would prefer to be a HC if he's going to make a significant career move.

he's not going anywhere... but as they say... money changes everything...
Jally
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Gundy is not taking a pay cut. HE IS UNDERPAID!!! We are getting an alumni discount on his services people! Check around. Michigan State's Mel Tucker, who has accomplished diddly squat yet, is getting $9.5mil/year. James Franklin $7mil. We wanna run with the big dogs we are going to have pay up to keep one of the BEST DC's in the country. And he still might leave based on personal preferences. If he does leave, thanks for all the great work Knowles. And give some credit to the man that found him, and trust in him to find another great DC.
NJAggie
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Yeah I'd be more worried about him leaving for HC job. If he wants to stay as a DC then I'm sure we can pay him well enough to keep him. Being able to run his shop and compete for championships is probably as important as the money. He can get both in Stillwater (not to mention the money goes further here than elsewhere).

USC is not in the mix the OU DC as well as other staff members are joining Mr Riley in LA.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Duke fired Knowles' former boss yesterday.... so that HC spot is open.

it might be considered low-class to take the job of your mentor that got unceremoniously dismissed.

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