Young returns to Oklahoma State

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma State hired Bill Young on Tuesday to be its defensive coordinator, luring him back to his alma mater from Miami.

Young played at Oklahoma State from 1965-67 and has had two previous stints on the coaching staff.

Young, 62, had told a Miami newspaper earlier this week that deciding between coaching with the Hurricanes or Cowboys left him "very torn."

"It means a lot to me to come back to OSU because I am a graduate, I played there and now we are back as part of the Cowboy family," Young said in a statement. "My wife and I are very excited to get back to Stillwater and Oklahoma State."

Young fills the last of four vacancies on coach Mike Gundy's staff. The defensive coordinator's job was the most prominent, vacated in early December when Tim Beckman left after two seasons to become the head coach at Toledo.

Oklahoma State finished 9-4 last season, losing to Oregon in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, and was ranked No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll. But the Cowboys struggled defensively.

They finished 93rd among 119 teams in total defense, allowing 405.54 yards per game, and 76th in scoring defense at 28.1 points per game.

Miami was 28th in total defense (317.46) and 56th in scoring defense (24.1) last season.

"I understand and respect Bill's strong ties to his alma mater and his family's ties to Oklahoma," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "I will be looking for the best possible defensive coordinator to replace him. If that candidate is not out there, those responsibilities will fall to me."

Shannon was Miami's defensive coordinator for six seasons before taking over as head coach before the 2007 campaign. Of those six defenses, five finished ranked among the top 10 in the nation.

But the timing of Young's departure is awkward for Miami, which is also without an offensive coordinator -- meaning there's plenty of questions about the Hurricanes' direction with only two weeks remaining until recruits can begin signing letters of intent.

Shannon is believed to be closing in on a replacement for former offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, whom he fired after Miami finished 7-6 this season.

Young spent one season at Miami. In 2007, he was defensive coordinator for Kansas and the Jayhawks ranked 12th in the country in yards allowed. He told The AP last month that he was "excited, very excited" about Miami's hopes for the future, saying that long before anyone expected his return to the Cowboys.

"He's been successful everywhere he's been," Gundy said in a statement. "He will bring a great deal of experience to the defensive side of the ball and he is very familiar with our conference. It's great to have an OSU graduate and a former player as an addition to the staff."