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December 12, 2012

Stillwater Sports Minute: Gundy's coaching tree growing

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University coach Mike Gundy’s coaching tree grew another branch today as Southern MIss University introduced offensive coordinator Todd Monken as its head coach.

Monken is the fourth assistant under Gundy to earn a head coaching job, joining former offensive coordinators Larry Fedora and Dana Holgorsen and former defensive coordinator Tim Beckman.

Fedora served as offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007. In his final season at Oklahoma State, the Pokes ranked in the top 25 in points scored per game (34.6), top 10 in rushing yards per game (243.2) and top 10 in total yards per game (486.3).

The offensive coordinator was hired by Southern Miss replacing Jeff Bower. In four seasons, Fedora went 34-19, including a 12-win season in 2011. The Golden Eagles reached a bowl game in all those seasons. Fedora’s success landed him a head coaching position at North Carolina University, where he guided them to an 8-4 record. The Tar Heels didn’t make bowl because they were under a postseason ban due to NCAA violations.

Beckman coached the Pokes’ defense from 2007 to 2008. Oklahoma State ranked 57th in run defense with 155.8 yards allowed per game. The next season the Cowboys dropped 18 yards off that average. OSU ranked 58th in forcing turnovers, averaging nearly two per game.

Beckman left the Cowboys for Toledo where he went 5-7 in his first season in 2009. In his last two seasons, he guided the Rockets to an 8-5 and an 8-4 record before he was hired by Illinois. This season Beckman led the Fighting Illini to a 2-10 record finishing last in the Big Ten’s Leaders division.

Holgorsen’s stay with Oklahoma State was brief, only coaching in the 2010-11 season. During that year, the Cowboys ranked second in passing yards per game (345.8), and third in total yards at (520.2). Oklahoma State averaged 44 points per game, which was third in the NCAA.

After that season, Holgorsen became West Virginia University’s head coach and had immediate success. The Mountaineers went 10-3 and won the Orange Bowl. This season, Holgorsen’s squad started strong at 5-0 but lost five of the next seven games. Gundy faced off with Holgorsen on Nov. 10 earning a 55-34 victory.

Monken will take over a Golden Eagle team that went winless this season.

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