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Oklahoma State Football

Report on Leading Candidate on Oklahoma State Defensive Coordinator, We're Not Buying

January 19, 2022

STILLWATER – There is a report out on Twitter linking current Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason to the vacant Oklahoma State defensive coordinator position. Mason is an outstanding coach that crossed paths with Oklahoma State as the assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator for Stanford and head coach David Shaw when Oklahoma State beat the Cardinal in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl 41-38 on Jan. 2, 2012.

© Jake Crandall | 2021 May 18
Derek Mason at Auburn

Mason is the highest paid assistant coach on the staff of Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin. He is making $1.5 million annually. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has spoke of the need to take advantage of the situation the Cowboys are in with their football program. One of those areas is coaches’ salaries and our sources have told us that Gundy might be able to go as high as $1.5-million in hiring the new defensive coordinator. We have also been told that raises for all of the full-time Oklahoma State assistant coaches in the works soon. Perhaps as soon as this week’s Oklahoma State Board of Regents meeting.

The question is would Mason take a lateral move in position and salary. He and Gundy have never coached together before and the resumes don’t line up with any common coaching connections. That isn’t always the case with Gundy hires as he has hired coaches, he was unfamiliar with in the past until he interviewed them.

Another hang up with Mason is that he has coached cornerbacks and defensive backs primarily in his career. If the current staff were to remain with the positions they’ve been coaching, then the defensive coordinator or as happened with Jim Knowles, a younger coach, would need to coach the linebacker position. Under Knowles, most recently Koy McFarland and prior to that current Houston Baptist defensive coordinator Shane Eachus coached the linebackers.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Gundy told Pokes Report last Friday he was going outside to hire a new DC.

Pokes Report put out a list of potential defensive coordinators with NFL and college backgrounds last weekend. It was on Triple Play Sports Radio and here on Pokes Report that Gundy first made public that he was going outside the current staff to make the defensive coordinator hire.

We believe that North Carolina State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, UAB defensive coordinator David Reeves, and Houston defensive coordinator Doug Belk are potential candidates.

The report on Twitter referencing Mason was posted by Bruce Feldman.

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