Mike Gundy's three new offensive assistants will enter 2011 charged with the task of maintaining or surpassing what the Cowboys did on offense in 2010.
In one season, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen helped Oklahoma State ascend to No. 3 in total offense and scoring defense, helping the program win 11 games for the first time in school history.
But he left, as did two other assistants. Their replacements:
Todd Monken, offensive coordinator
Kasey Dunn, wide receivers
Jemal Singleton, running backs
Monken is a first-time AQ-conference play-caller after leaving his post as the Jacksonville Jaguars' quarterback coach, but Gundy sees that as an asset in this particular situation.
"We needed a guy that was willing to come in and run our offensive plays and our system of Oklahoma State football, and not necessarily run the system from the outside," Gundy told reporters on Monday. We are pleased with what we do here, we are pleased with our offense. Todd being a first-time coordinator at this level was a really good fit for us to come in and make the adjustments so that we didn't have to vary our offense very much. We had a number of returning players and obviously some key players in position that we didn't want to learn new terminology, so he was a great fit for us."
Gundy has reason to be pleased. Everything worked excellently last year. And in 2011, he'll have all five offensive linemen returning, his quarterback and a great group of receivers headlined by Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon.
Expectations from fans and the like won't be tempered.
"We want them to keep most of it the same as last year, but there would have been tweaks either way based on the way we thought we could make improvements as we progress," Gundy said.
Monken added: "Anyone would be silly with all of the returning starters to not implement what they had done in the past. With that being said, we have to find a way to make it Oklahoma State's offense."
Exactly what that means won't be clear until next year, but as long as the points and yards return, Cowboys fans will be happy with whoever's offense it is. As long as the guys doing it have Oklahoma State on their jerseys.
"It’s probably a little easier for three new coaches to adjust to something than 40 players, so I think we’re going to try and keep it as tight as we can and as close as we can to what we did last year," Dunn said.