Staff moves getting awkward in Stillwater

There's been plenty of speculation for weeks over the future of Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young in Stillwater. He mentioned retiring. Then he said he's coach until someone told him to stop.

Apparently, Mike Gundy finally told him to stop.

From our news story:

Bill Young stepped down after four seasons as Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator Thursday, meaning the Cowboys will have two new coordinators next season.

Coach Mike Gundy said Young will be replaced by linebackers coach Glenn Spencer. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken left to become the head coach at Southern Miss and has not yet been replaced.

Young's exit was somewhat surprising. Leading up to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, he had discussed contemplating retirement after more than 40 years in coaching that included stops at Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Southern California, Oklahoma and with the NFL's Detroit Lions. But after a dominant performance in the bowl game against Purdue, Young said he had decided to stay as long as he was wanted.

That didn't end up being much longer.

On its face, it doesn't appear to be a notable parting of ways, but it's hard not to take notice of Young's comments in an interview with the Tulsa World.

Young, 66, said he was told by Gundy in February that college football is a young man’s game “and I was the face of the defense and he thought my age would hurt recruiting and he thought players wouldn’t play for me.”

Young said he thought that was “nowhere near right.” He expressed those feelings to Gundy and they agreed to disagree. The result? It was determined the 2012 season would be Young’s last.

Young says he's not mad, but that sounds a bit harsh on Gundy's part. Oklahoma State's defense underachieved this past season, but allowing Young to work for the remainder of his contract seemed like the easiest fix on Gundy's part, even though the exit has now gotten a little bit messy.

There was talk of retiring, but Young made it clear in his interview that he wants to continue coaching. Young also missed games during the season because of a health issue, which surely didn't help his case with Gundy.

It's Gundy's program. He can do what he wants, and letting Young go while promoting Spencer isn't necessarily a bad decision, but this surely isn't how Gundy wanted the transition to play out.