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Oklahoma State Football

UPDATED Cowboys Young Coaches Disappearing to Ohio State?

January 12, 2022
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STILLWATER – All is fair in love, war, college recruiting, and college coach hiring. However, there are some ethics involved in all four of those situations. The problem is that it is purely up to the participants on what the ethics or the degree of ethics are that will be applied. Oklahoma State lost defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to Ohio State. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day never made contact that we know of with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, but that’s OK. Gundy knew that Knowles was being pursued. Texas Tech had offered $1.5 million to Knowles and several other schools were showing interest as well. Day pressed Knowles to sign before he left Little Rock, Ark. that day because he wanted it wrapped up. This was the second time that Day at Ohio State had hired away one of Gundy’s coordinators. He hired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich back in 2018 right after the win over Missouri in the Liberty Bowl.

Editor’s Note: The current count is two coaches that have left for Ohio State to go with Knowles. Graduate assistant and linebackers coach the past season Koy McFarland and defensive quality control coach Brent Zdebski are going to Ohio State. It appears that defensive graduate assistant Michael Hunter is  staying. There was also discussion that Cowboys full-time coaches were being pursued, but the Buckeyes announced hirings that would make that doubtful. 

Buckeyessports.com
Yurcich was hired to Ohio State by Ryan Day in 2018.

Day must love hiring Gundy’s people or Knowles is lonely in Columbus without some of the coaches he was with in Stillwater. Mike Gundy has seen a parade this week of young coaches in the Oklahoma State program come through his office and tell him they are leaving for Ohio State. Football Scoop doesn’t even have these transactions. How about that? Little ole Oklahoma State is now the breeding ground for young coaches heading to Ohio, the state commonly known as the cradle of coaches.

Graduate assistant Koy McFarland deserves a ton of credit as he has been the primary linebackers coach for the Cowboys. Knowles has often been identified as the linebackers coach but with his all- encompassing way of coaching the defense. McFarland has handled Malcolm Rodriguez, Devin Harper and company.

Pokes Report
Koy McFarland celebrates the Bedlam win.

“He's awesome to be around. He brings the energy every day. There are no down days for him. He's always hyped, and he's always running out there at practice,” Rodriguez said of McFarland. “He's always the first one. He's always trying to beat the guys to the next station or something like that. He just brings that energy. He's so smart. He's been around the system and the coaches and all that. And, his dad was a coach. So, it's natural for him, and it's like second nature.”

“I think Koy has done a great job,” defensive play caller and defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements said of McFarland at the Fiesta Bowl. “He's going to be a star in this profession. He's a bright young coach. He has a very bright mind when it comes to football. He was a coach's kid growing up. He's been around the game for a long, long time. I think he's going to have a bright future in this profession.”

His job reportedly at Ohio State is as a graduate assistant. Several Oklahoma State coaches have said they feel McFarland should be promoted to a position coach for his next stop.

Pokes Report
Brent Zdebski celebrated with his family at the Fiesta Bowl.

Now, defensive quality control coach Brent Zdebski has told Gundy that Ohio State, unsure if it was Jim Knowles or head coach Ryan Day called and offered him a quality control position with the Buckeyes. Again, a smart young coach being offered a lateral move for a position that is limited in salary. Camp money can vary, and those coaches are always hired for camps.

Finally, it is reported that graduate and former Indiana, Oklahoma State, and NFL defensive back Michael Hunter has been offered again, a graduate assistant job at Ohio State. Hunter has helped out in the secondary with coaches Tim Duffie and Dan Hammerschmidt. He is a promising full-time coaching candidate.

Interesting, that Oklahoma State has cornered the market on good young coaches on the defensive side of the ball. As we said, all’s fair. However, Ohio State is going pretty far here. They are hiring coaches in lateral positions. Some would say the ethics applied would label this over the top. Again, that is up to the participants. If Jim Knowles is doing the hiring, he did gain his highest paying job ever from working and learning at Oklahoma State. Do you feel good about hiring away all these young coaches? On the Oklahoma State side are any of these young coaches candidates for promotions, even a full-time position? 

Those are questions only the participants can answer.

Discussion from...

UPDATED Cowboys Young Coaches Disappearing to Ohio State?

10,394 Views | 20 Replies | Last: 9 days ago by NorthDFWPoke
GumbyFromPokeyLand
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I've always gotten the vibe that Gundy may not be too fond of Day. Foremost, as you stated, he's never called Gundy to discuss his desire to hire one of Gundy's coaches. Further, I have a strong sense Day mislead Yurcich as to Yurcich's actual role on tOSUs offense. Now Day (or Knowles with Day's consent) is plucking coaches for lateral moves, which as you also state, is not good manners. If Day ends up being a good boss to former OkSt coaches, any illwill Gundy may have toward Day may just fade away. But if more former OkSt coaches have bad experiences like Yurcich, I suspect Day just might start getting a more well known bad rep as a boss.
Crazed_Stallion
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Don't pay your coaches, there gonna leave.
Joe Khatib
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If Mike wanted to shove it up Days rear end he could counter that move by bringing back McFarland as a full time position Coach if he thinks Koy has earned the promotion should he say promote from within by elevating Joebob Clements to the Coordinator position because Ohio State doesn't have an open defensive staff position. Maybe this says more about Days abilities as a Head Coach vs. Gundy. He took Yurcich but that apparently blew up and Yurcich looked for the first train out of Columbus!
eecowboy
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Crazed is right, you wanna keep 'em you better pay 'em or promote 'em.

Clearly Knowles/Day have a plan and they are executing their plan - they're not wasting time. Their defense will be jump-started by these three young-guns assisting Knowles.

My question is, "what is our plan, and why is it taking so long to figure out who to hire, who to promote, who to keep, who to let go?"

Go Cowboys!
TUSKAPOKE
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NEXT COACH UP!!! THE COWBOYS HAVE MANY FORMER PLAYERS OUT COACHING AND WANTING TO COACH. BRING THEM HOME. I ADMIRE COACH GUNDY FOR TRYING TO DO IT WITH ETHICS.....BUT IT IS THE LAND OF WOLVES.......
NorthDFWPoke
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Staff
Marshall - I don't understand who is gone and who is reporting interest. It would be a nice shortcut for Knowles to bring some known staff. Gundy being deliberate also can holds critical staff like Clements, Duffie etc. if he goes outside the later that decision happens the less likely they jump.

OSU needs to pay market for our level of success which is 10-20. We need to be a better place to work and provide opportunity.

We cannot warehouse all upwardly mobile young coaches.
CaliforniaCowboy
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sounds to me like Knowles getting some more folks around him that know the system and will be able to help teach it to the Buckeye defensive coaches. If you can't replace your staff, then you'd best get some help teaching it to the folks that are there, since it would be hard for Knowles to participate in drills and concepts of every position coach.

Sounds pretty smart to me on Knowles part, and these college assistants would not be leaving is there wasn't something in it for them... even if it is just listing the blueblood Buckeye name on their resumes.

Choskacowboy
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Gundy is negotiating at bigger pool of money for assistants. Our athletic budget is still half of Ohio State's. Even if we increase the pay, it will still be hard to compete with Ohio State. There other good assistants out there. Need to go find them.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Choskacowboy said:

Gundy is negotiating at bigger pool of money for assistants. Our athletic budget is still half of Ohio State's. Even if we increase the pay, it will still be hard to compete with Ohio State. There other good assistants out there. Need to go find them.
I think Ohio State funds a lot more sports than the Cowboys, so their "athletic budget" would and should be much higher. But one could surmise that there would also be more money for football assistant coaches than the Pokes can offer. (plus the higher "camp" money, as another poster suggested)





NJAggie
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These as GA's and restricted earnings positions don't sound like money is the driving factor. Sadly being a GA at Ohio State probably opens more doors than being one at OSU (in fact if you're making the same money in Columbus you are in Stillwater you're going to find life a bit more financially challenging). So future money or resume building is the driver.

I do appreciate Gundy's desire to take his time, but some times you have to move before its too late.
CaliforniaCowboy
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NJAggie said:

These as GA's and restricted earnings positions don't sound like money is the driving factor. Sadly being a GA at Ohio State probably opens more doors than being one at OSU (in fact if you're making the same money in Columbus you are in Stillwater you're going to find life a bit more financially challenging). So future money or resume building is the driver.

I do appreciate Gundy's desire to take his time, but some times you have to move before its too late.
do they have restrictions on pay for those positions? I tried to look it up and all I found was from 1998 ruling where a judge ruled that coach's salaries cannot be restricted because it was a violation of labor laws.

I sincerely do not know the answer, the internet searches are spotty at best, on this topic.


The restricted-earnings rule was adopted as a cost-cutting move by near-unanimous vote of Division I schools in 1991. The rule capped salaries for assistants in various sports at $12,000 for the academic year and $4,000 for the summer.

The rule was lifted in 1995 after the courts found the NCAA violated antitrust law. Last fall, the NCAA offered $44 million as a settlement while the coaches sought $60 million.

The restricted-earnings case was a consolidation of three lawsuits.

In 1997, a federal judge in Kansas City declared the legislation violated antitrust law. The NCAA lost an appeal, and its petition to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case was denied last fall.
Orangeheart72
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Can't answer Cal's question but I did read that there is more than just prestige of the tOSU label afforded to these grad assistants. The camps up there are considered "additional pay" opportunities and apparently may be lucrative for these (asst. coaches). I can also imagine exposure to Knowles systems can't hurt these guys future IF he's again quite successful at tOSU. And you have to think with their resources and talent, Knowles won't do poorly.
NJAggie
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CaliforniaCowboy said:

NJAggie said:

These as GA's and restricted earnings positions don't sound like money is the driving factor. Sadly being a GA at Ohio State probably opens more doors than being one at OSU (in fact if you're making the same money in Columbus you are in Stillwater you're going to find life a bit more financially challenging). So future money or resume building is the driver.

I do appreciate Gundy's desire to take his time, but some times you have to move before its too late.
do they have restrictions on pay for those positions? I tried to look it up and all I found was from 1998 ruling where a judge ruled that coach's salaries cannot be restricted because it was a violation of labor laws.

I sincerely do not know the answer, the internet searches are spotty at best, on this topic.


The restricted-earnings rule was adopted as a cost-cutting move by near-unanimous vote of Division I schools in 1991. The rule capped salaries for assistants in various sports at $12,000 for the academic year and $4,000 for the summer.

The rule was lifted in 1995 after the courts found the NCAA violated antitrust law. Last fall, the NCAA offered $44 million as a settlement while the coaches sought $60 million.

The restricted-earnings case was a consolidation of three lawsuits.

In 1997, a federal judge in Kansas City declared the legislation violated antitrust law. The NCAA lost an appeal, and its petition to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case was denied last fall.
Well I'd suggest you as RA as he is reporting them as restricted earnings positions. And even if they can't be held to a specific amount based on NCAA rules they are pretty restricted in what is going to be paid. I'm not sure that GA's receive pay as the work is considered their school work.
backphil
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Orangeheart72 said:

Can't answer Cal's question but I did read that there is more than just prestige of the tOSU label afforded to these grad assistants. The camps up there are considered "additional pay" opportunities and apparently may be lucrative for these (asst. coaches). I can also imagine exposure to Knowles systems can't hurt these guys future IF he's again quite successful at tOSU. And you have to think with their resources and talent, Knowles won't do poorly.
Do the players pay a fee to attend these camps, or do corporations fund the camps as part of their advertising budget. Where does the money come from to pay these grad coaches at these camps?
CaliforniaCowboy
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NJAggie said:



Well I'd suggest you as RA as he is reporting them as restricted earnings positions. And even if they can't be held to a specific amount based on NCAA rules they are pretty restricted in what is going to be paid. I'm not sure that GA's receive pay as the work is considered their school work.
I did look a couple of them up, and the few that I saw (job postings) listed a whole slew of benefits, including housing, meals, camps, and a "stipend". The two "stipends" that I saw were from very small Div 2 schools and they were $3,500 and $5,000 (I don't recall if that was monthly).

Presumably the "stipend" could be anything that you wanted it to be, and hopefully would be in-line with what all graduate assistants on campus would make.

They may be required to be listed as "part time", to get the "restricted earnings" designation, but what would constitution part time in the coaching profession?


Indeed's salary guide

  • Not provided by employer
  • $19.9K to $25.1K per year is Indeed's estimated salary for assistant football coach at Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH. (part time)
NJAggie
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I think the camp attendees pay to attend and that provides money for the staff of the camp.
CaliforniaCowboy
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NJAggie said:

I think the camp attendees pay to attend and that provides money for the staff of the camp.
yes, of course.

and camp attendees are willing to pay how much more to attend Ohio State Camp, than Cowboy's camp?

$100/attendee more? x 300 attendees?

How many camps? 3-day? 2-day? 1-day? Position group camps? Ohio State lists all of those (but not cost)
1slowpoke
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My guess is Gundy will hire a DC from one of the NFL teams since he is waiting so long and they may want to bring in their own staff so we could see a massive overhaul on Defense. Current staff are jumping ship due to the uncertainty. Maybe we get a DC from the Texans, Miami or Broncos since the HC was fired from these teams. Bring Lovie Smith in as he was DC for Texans and he went to Tulsa.
CaliforniaCowboy
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glad to see you posting Slow1, but IMO, if we can't keep Knowles, there is no way in "H" that we're going to attract an NFL DC.

Maybe some NFL position coach and promote them to DC, but you would be hard pressed to convince me that would be an improvement over promoting Coach Clements.
NorthDFWPoke
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Staff
It has been too long slow poke

1slowpoke said:

My guess is Gundy will hire a DC from one of the NFL teams since he is waiting so long and they may want to bring in their own staff so we could see a massive overhaul on Defense. Current staff are jumping ship due to the uncertainty. Maybe we get a DC from the Texans, Miami or Broncos since the HC was fired from these teams. Bring Lovie Smith in as he was DC for Texans and he went to Tulsa.
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