STILLWATER — For the second straight offseason, Oklahoma State is in the marketplace for a defensive coordinator.
Derek Mason introduced on Thursday that he has “determined to take a sabbatical from teaching in school” soccer when his one-year contract for $1.1 million with the Cowboys expires on Jan. 31
Mason, a former head coach at Vanderbilt, joined OSU for the 2022 season after a one-year stint at Auburn. He had additionally beforehand coached at Stanford, Ohio, New Mexico and with the Minnesota Vikings amongst different stops throughout a profitable 30-year teaching profession.
OSU head coach Mike Gundy thanked Mason in a press release saying, “The constructive impact he is had on our gamers, employees and program has been superior. I do know it was a tricky determination, however life is greater than soccer.”
Last January, Mason changed Jim Knowles, who left after the 2021 season to grow to be Ohio State’s defensive coordinator.
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“I look ahead to spending time with my household to relaxation and mirror on alternatives inside the sport I like,” Mason wrote in a message posted on Twitter. “I’ve been blessed throughout my tenure at Oklahoma State to work alongside Coach Gundy. His management and consistency are unmatched in the career.”
The offseason has been stuffed with change and rumors of change inside the OSU program. The Cowboys have seen 16 scholarship gamers enter the switch portal, with 11 commitments from portal gamers coming into the program.
The potential for teaching adjustments have been buzzing since early December with no motion. Yet even along with his expiring contract, Mason’s spot as defensive coordinator appeared solidified till Mason’s Thursday announcement to step away.
So Gundy is left to search for his seventh defensive coordinator coming into his nineteenth yr as head coach.
Of his earlier 5 substitute hires, Gundy has gone outdoors the program 4 instances. His solely inside promotion was Glenn Spencer changing Bill Young in 2013.
Last yr, when Gundy was conducting the search that ultimately turned up Mason, OSU linebackers coach Joe Bob Clements had grow to be a well-liked title for a attainable promotion. He would probably be in the combine as soon as once more, as would cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie and safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt.
But the inside candidates lack play-calling expertise, having solely executed it for one sport after they labored collectively rather than Knowles for the Fiesta Bowl at the finish of the 2021 season.
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Clements, who has been at OSU the previous 10 seasons, is at the finish of the first yr of a two-year contract that pays him $600,000 per yr, and would probably be in line for a increase if he had been promoted to coordinator.
With Mason’s departure, Clements and offensive line coach Charlie Dickey are the second-highest-paid on-field assistants for the Cowboys, behind offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn at $900,000 per yr.
If Gundy chooses to go outdoors the program, he can have quite a lot of choices, however a tighter schedule through which to decide. In hiring Mason to exchange Knowles, Gundy took greater than seven weeks to finalize the determination.
But with a number of new gamers arriving this week to start courses subsequent Tuesday, and the late signing interval lower than three weeks away, Gundy’s timetable might be condensed.
In hiring Mason, Gundy elected to preserve the primary scheme and terminology of the protection Knowles had put in over the earlier 4 years, a pattern Gundy has caught with over his previous few offensive coordinator hires.
He can have to resolve if he needs to proceed that methodology, or let an outdoor candidate carry his personal scheme and language to the program.
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