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OSU football: Who might replace Yurcich?

Mike Yurcich

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich stands on the sideline during the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, on Dec. 31, 2018. 

It’s a question many Oklahoma State football fans are asking as they wait for coach Mike Gundy to make a decision.

With Mike Yurcich’s departure, who will join OSU’s coaching staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach?

Yurcich, who has been the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator since 2013, is leaving for a different OSU.

Ryan Day, Ohio State’s new coach and former offensive coordinator, chose Yurcich as the Buckeyes’ passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, an Ohio State press release announced Wednesday. Under his two-year contract, he will make $950,000 yearly, according to the release.

Although Gundy hasn’t selected a new offensive coordinator, reporters and fans have speculated about whom he might name as Yurcich’s replacement. He hired Yurcich from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, so the range of possibilities is vast; but here is the O’Colly’s list of possible coaches to fill Yurcich’s spot.

Josh Henson

If Gundy is looking within his staff, Henson is a coach who has deep OSU roots and experience as an offensive coordinator.

Henson, a former Cowboy offensive lineman, has been OSU’s offensive line coach since February 2017. Henson has increased the Cowboys’ recruitment of offensive linemen, and players including center Johnny Wilson have described the family-like atmosphere Henson creates among the O-line.

After playing for OSU from 1994-97, Henson came back as a graduate assistant in 1999 under coach Les Miles. He then joined Miles’ LSU staff as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, putting together two top-10 recruiting classes in 2006 and 2007.

Henson gained experience as an offensive coordinator at Missouri. After heading there to serve as the offensive line coach in 2009, he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2013. Missouri ranked 96th in total offense the year before he became OC, but he boosted its rank to 16th.

Kasey Dunn

Dunn, OSU’s receivers coach, is no stranger to developing young Cowboys into award-winning athletes.

In 2011, his first season at OSU, Dunn coached Justin Blackmon, who received the Biletnikoff Award. He recruited James Washington, who earned the 2017 Biletnikoff Award and unanimous All-America honors, as well as Tylan Wallace, a 2018 All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist.

In 2017, Dunn garnered Wide Receivers Coach of the Year honors from 247sports and FootballScoop. That season set a Cowboy record: four OSU receivers each accumulated 500 yards or more and five receiving touchdowns.

Dunn also has NFL experience. For two years, he coached running backs for the Seattle Seahawks, including Julius Jones and Justin Forsett.

Graham Harrell

If Gundy is considering someone outside his staff, he might look to North Texas.

Graham Harrell, the Mean Green’s offensive coordinator, was one of the possible replacements ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg listed when he reported the news about Yurcich leaving.

Harrell became North Texas’ offensive coordinator in 2016. During his first season, the offense accumulated 9.6 more points per game and 603 more yards than it had in 2015.

After playing quarterback at Texas Tech, he joined the Canadian Football League and then signed with the NFL's Green Bay Packers.

Harrell has brief experience as an OSU coach. He joined the Cowboys’ staff as a quality control coach under former offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen in 2010.

Todd Monken

Could Gundy bring Monken back to OSU?

Rittenberg also listed Monken as someone who could fill Yurcich’s spot, but he pointed out that Monken has other options in the NFL.

Monken, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator, was the Cowboys’ OC before Yurcich. Gundy hired him in 2011, but he left to serve as Southern Mississippi’s head coach after one season. Monken was OSU’s passing-game coordinator and receivers coach under Miles from 2002-04.

Monken is also receiving interest elsewhere in the NFL. The Cincinnati Bengals asked to interview him, said ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler in a tweet Thursday.

Marcus Arroyo

Arroyo, like Monken, coached at OSU but left for a different job.

He served as the Cowboys’ running backs coach for two years before he headed to Oregon in February 2017. Arroyo is the Ducks’ assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and tight ends coach. At OSU, he coached running back Justice Hill, who earned All-America accolades as a freshman in 2016.

For the 2014-15 season, he was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ interim offensive coordinator and play-caller.

sports.ed@ocolly.com