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Oklahoma State Football

Knowles Headed to Ohio State - Goes to Work for Buckeyes Jan. 3

December 7, 2021
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STILLWATER – Late this afternoon Ohio State University head coach Ryan Day announced that he had hired Jim Knowles as the new defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes. Day said that the current Buckeyes staff would coach the team in the Rose Bowl against Utah and that Knowles would begin his time at Ohio State on Jan. 3. A source told Pokes Report that Ohio State offered a multi-year contract at $2-million per year (actually $1.9-million plus a signing bonus). 

Knowles actually told Pokes Report that he signed the contract with Ohio State via doc-u-sign while in Little Rock after the Broyles Award ceremony he attended on Tuesday.

The coach who became known as a mad scientist of defense has been at Oklahoma State for the past four seasons coming from Duke University was making $800,000 a year. Our sources told us that Oklahoma State had an offer on the table for five-years at $1.3-million per year and a total of $6.5-million for the entire contract.

Pokes Report
Update from Ryan Day

Knowles was a finalist this season for the Frank Broyles Award for the top assistant coach or coordinator in Division I college football. Earlier on Tuesday that award was announced as going to Josh Gattis, the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at the University of Michigan.

Knowles had the defense rocking for the Cowboys this season and they shut out the last two opponents in the second half in both the Bedlam win and the Big 12 Championship loss to Baylor. The defense was in the top five in scoring defense this season, third in total defense, and first in both third down conversion defense and sacks as they finished with 55 sacks on the season.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Rodriguez at linebacker was the ring leader of the defense.

Players like linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, safety Kolby Harvell-Peel, cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse, and defensive end Brock Martin made first-team All-Big 12.  

Knowles is immensely popular and is a big reason why the Cowboys had success this season. Knowles came to Oklahoma State with his 4-2-5. After a season of getting beat up by Big 12 offenses, head coach Mike Gundy suggested that Knowles look at some alternative schemes. The most popular schemes were the 3-3-5 stack at West Virginia and the 3-3-5 (rush three, drop eight) scheme at Iowa State. Knowles incorporated some of both into his defense and forged a hybrid that got better and better until completely coming together this season.

Knowles defenses mixed up three and four-man fronts with a heavy dose of man coverage and lots of pressure. 

Discussion from...

Knowles Headed to Ohio State - Goes to Work for Buckeyes Jan. 3

14,320 Views | 28 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by esq3164
Polston31
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Well we are still a stepping stone school.
Polston31
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Can't wait to see what mid level guy we find now for the next few years
SirPokesAlot
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How will this impact our current recruiting class?
JPat
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This is really kind of turning me off of college football. It's SUCH a business. Don't have to worry about this crap in other sports. Not nearly as much anyway.
NorthDFWPoke
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Staff
Good on coach Knowles for coaching the bowl game. Best of luck coach.

700K annual is a lot of money but I don't think we have what Knowles was looking for. He wants to test himself against different and the best.
Joe Khatib
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JPat said:

This is really kind of turning me off of college football. It's SUCH a business. Don't have to worry about this crap in other sports. Not nearly as much anyway.
Ummm, Cade Cunningham ONE AND DONE, remember it's only business say the mob bosses.
backphil
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Thanks Coach Knowles. Congratulations and continued success. Coach Gundy was looking for a defensive coordinator when he found Knowles, he will find another. Gundy's coordinator coaching tree is impressive.
TUSKAPOKE
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D**N IT! THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. GOOD LUCK TO ALL INVOLVED. GO POKES!!!
Imapoke
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We'll, we do have his playbook.
texastornado
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It's no surprise which stinks that OK State is really a stepping stone for bigger jobs. It's a fact and something we just have to accept. With that being said, Gundy has done a pretty good job in finding the next coordinator. I hope he focuses on a young hotshot who is a great recruiter and comes from a true blue blood program. We'll see what happens but will have to act fast. I'm sure Gundy had started to look at possibly replacements knowing this could happen. Have to move fast with early signing day as afraid we could see kids decommiting and transferring. Just one week ago everything was looking so promising and then we lose to Baylor and lose Knowles. Ouch
PokeRob
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Well he really improved our defense because his first couple of years his system was not so good. Just got it in place and then leave. Sad for his players. Hope we find someone better.
CaliforniaCowboy
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promote somebody on staff from the DL... certainly they learned the system and how to be a successful DC

PokeRob
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Minnesota DC looks like a possibility. Good defenses and right price. $600,000 per year now.
Tommyboy
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Time to make Joe Bob Clements the Defensive Coordinator......He has been the difference maker in our DL for the past 8 years. Promote him before you lose him also.
Tommyboy
esq3164
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Everybody just give more money to football. No longer a stepping stone job. Plain and simple
Tulsa Booster
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I think we were all extremely disappointed we lost Coach Knowles. But the reality is that most coaches at our level move for money and a better possibility of playing for a national championship. Until we start selling 100,000 tickets to each game and prove we can compete for a national championship we will always be vulnerable to losing our best coaches. We don't have the revenue to pay our coordinator's Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State type of money. And although our program has improved exponentially over the last 10 years, we don't "reload" every year like some of the big boys. The last time we had a team comparable to this team was 10 years ago.

I think we should also recognize that sometimes we do appear to be a stepping stone program, but now we are a stepping stone to iconic programs and not to programs that are considered comparable to us like it used to be. Folks are often saying our big time donors should step up to keep someone like Coach Knowles. Well as we all know, Boone has passed and there doesn't appear to be a lot of OSU alum's that are willing to write the big checks every time they are asked. Plus the fact that when you are considering paying an coordinator 1.5 to 2 million per year it creates compensation issues for the rest of your staff. Maybe they shouldn't become disgruntled when a fellow staff member gets a huge bump like we were proposing for Coach Knowles, but I believe it's human nature to want some for yourself particularly when we've had one of our best seasons ever.
CaliforniaCowboy
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WTH?

"at our level"? What is that supposed to mean? (non blue blood?)

We don't like it, but it's okay because better schools are taking our coaches? That makes me feel so much better. Let's just face it, we're the poor kids on the block, and we can never compete for MNC's. Never. They'll buy our stuff.

Seriously?

and, we can't pay our Chef's well because the dishwasher will want a pay raise? WTH?


I'm having a hard time coming to grips with most of your statement... That can't be how the story ends.
CaliforniaCowboy
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seriously Poke fans..... OSU and the Big12 is not "the best"?

when, oh when, are we going to drop this mentality as a fanbase?



If Stillwater is not a destination, like.., oh let's say, Tuskaloosa, then we need to work to make it so.
texastornado
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I agree 100% and that's OK. There truly are only 10-15 (might be on the high end) destination jobs in my mind. This is why I think having Gundy as long as we have helps to move the needle in the right way. If you continued to have head coaches come in knowing they'll either be fired or if successful move on we would be in much worse shape. The Baylor loss sucked but really have enjoyed this year and who knows what happens next year and on.
Orangeheart72
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I've watched OU lose their coach and talk about it. Isn't this when we're supposed to say we've now found out more about the character of Knowles and secrets now uncovered about his actions at OSU and we're glad the slimeball is leaving?!
Tulsa Booster
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California. Have you ever managed a budget? Unless you are the federal government, the goal is to balance the budget each year.

You say the university has plenty of money and plenty of donors. You can't always go to the same donors again and again when you need big dollars.

What would you have done, if you were AD and given the limited amount of time we had to raise the money, to keep Coach Knowles. Speculation is that he's going to make at least 2.5 million in his new position. And oh yeah, where are you going to get the money to pay Gundy another couple of million a year with the news the big boys are now starting to pay their head coaches closer to the 7 to 8 million dollar level? Whether you like Gundy or not, he can make the argument that his record is better than some of the head coaches who are, or in the next few years, will be making 50% more than he earns currently. Do you have the contacts to raise millions of dollars per year for OSU Athletics that the University is not aware of? If you do, I bet Chad Weiberg would love to hear from you.

Big time college athletics is big business. I think our university does an amazing job with the limited resources we have. Tell us what you would do to take us to the next level, financially. If it's a solid plan we will have a much better chance to keep coaches like Knowles.

We're all ears.


CaliforniaCowboy
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sorry.. not going to participate in that charade.

you changed the yard markers.....

if we're not "big time", then we will never be big time.... We should join the Missouri Valley Conf.

no more excuses. Forget budgets, those are for losers... a successful strategy brings in more revenue than was budgeted for. You put on life's effort on your ephitate... "I made budget"... whoo hooo

Stillwater needs to be transformed into a destination, not a rung on the career ladder, and it's going to take the City, the President, the community and the entire fan base... and budgets are minimum standards, not a goal.


PokeyHusker
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No team is a "final destination" point until you reach the NFL. Everyone is a stepping stone to someone else. Pete Carrol left USC to go to the NFL. As did Urban (sort of), as did Saban (didn't work out).

We don't need to have our feelings hurt. OSU is a legit program. Maybe not the upper crust of CFP, but not too far off, either. Assistants come and go.
eecowboy
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Just a thought on the defense:

Knowles was here 4 seasons, until about middle of last year to now - 2.5 years of … meh, to 1.5 years of holy ****, they're competent, destructive, and now elite - is the ascension and success of the defense due to Knowles or the players?

Lots of maturity and super-seniors. I guess we'll see. Now won't we?

Go Cowboys
CaliforniaCowboy
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eecowboy said:

Just a thought on the defense:

Knowles was here 4 seasons, until about middle of last year to now - 2.5 years of … meh, to 1.5 years of holy ****, they're competent, destructive, and now elite - is the ascension and success of the defense due to Knowles or the players?

Lots of maturity and super-seniors. I guess we'll see. Now won't we?

Go Cowboys
my opinion is the plethora of and depth of our DT's, along with a couple of timely young studs at DE all at once. I'm not sure of his involvement in all of that.

Throw in the COVID super seniors and we were set up for a loaded defensive team.

the one Knowles factor that seems apparent was the ability to make adjustments at the half, which we had seemed incapable of previously.
Tulsa Booster
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Come on California. Let's here what you would do to move us forward financially if you were AD. That's not a charade. Where would you start? Most people that are critical of the status quo are willing to share their ideas on how to make things better. Let's hear yours.
CaliforniaCowboy
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nope... not playing your silly game... pick a fight with somebody else.

I already said it takes the whole community... go back an re-read my post, and stop changing the line of scrimmage to support what ever it is that you're doing.

esq3164
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Whiles Knowles had a good seasons. His first few were not. He had alot of good players coming into this year. He made the most of the talent.Nobody knows if he could keep doing it. I would not pay him almost 1.9 mill a year. Good luck to him.
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