By JASON ELMQUIST
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy announced Thursday that defensive coordinator Bill Young will not return next season. OSU linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will be elevated to defensive coordinator.
“We are appreciative of everything Coach Young has done for us over the past four years,” Gundy said, “but we are also excited about heading in a new direction with our defense.”
Spencer just completed his fifth season at OSU. He is a 1987 Georgia Tech graduate and came to OSU after spending the 2004-2006 seasons at Duke, where he served as assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and secondary coach.
Reports of Bill Young’s firing began swirling around the Internet late Wednesday when Pete Roussel of coachingsearch.com cited unnamed sources in reporting that Young will not return to OSU next season. Added Roussel in a Twitter post, “Look for (Mike) Gundy to promote Glenn Spencer.”
Spencer has been a co-defensive coordinator since the 2011 season. He called the defensive plays in several games this year in Young’s absence due to health issues — one of which games included OSU’s 59-38 drubbing by Arizona.
Young had received support from his players following OSU’s blowout of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Young had stated after the game that he intended to return to OSU “if they’ll have me, I’ll be back.”
“Coach Young is a great coach and we’ve got to have him back another year because next year we feel like is going to be our year,” sophomore linebacker Lyndell Johnson said. “We know it’s going to be our year, so we’ve just got to start from the first day of spring.”
Junior safety Daytawion Lowe added, “He’s a great coach. He goes out there and gives us the best chance to win a game on Saturday.”
The change at defensive coordinator adds another element to an already muddled offseason for Oklahoma State. Gundy is still in the process of replacing offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who left to become the head coach at Southern Miss. Gundy had stated he planned to wait for the end of the NFL postseason before making a decision at the OC position.
Jason Elmquist is sports editor of The Stillwater NewsPress.