From 'Cat To Cowboy

Feb. 13, 2013

By: Michael Minshew -

Oklahoma State defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements, who spent 15 years at Kansas State as a player and a coach, is putting on his spurs as he joins the Cowboy football defensive staff.

            Clements, a native of Emporia, Kan., just completed his 11th season at his alma mater, KSU. He also served at Kansas (2008) and San Diego State (2006 and 2007). Both of his coaching tenures at KSU, as well as his playing career, were under Wildcat head coach Bill Snyder.

            Clements said he gained invaluable experience from his former coach during his time in Manhattan.

            “You learn things like consistency, discipline and trying to get a little bit better every day,” Clements said. “I think it’s just his consistent approach to everything. Every day is the same, there are no surprises.”

            Clements was a four-year letterwinner during his playing career as a Wildcat and said the offense has changed in the conference the most since his days on the field.

            “From my playing days, practically everybody had a tight end and a fullback and a lot of guys ran some form of option,” Clements said. “And now everything is spread, four wide receivers, a quarterback run game and throwing the ball all over the field.”

            The high-powered offenses of the Big 12 can prove to be a difficult task for opposing defenses to overcome. No stranger to that, in 2009, Clements coached the 117th nationally ranked Wildcat defense from 2008 to No. 39 in total defense.   Last season, the Wildcats were ranked 45th in total defense.



He said one thing is crucial to having a successful defensive line.

            “You have to have depth and guys that can run,” Clements said. “You’re no longer playing tackle-to-tackle, you’re playing sideline-to-sideline now.”

            OSU head coach Mike Gundy said Clements’ coaching has translated into success on the field.

            “Joe Bob Clements has a reputation as a disciplined and hard-nosed coach,” Gundy said. “He has good people skills and is a strong coach on the field and has a great reputation as a recruiter.”

            The hire came during the peak of recruiting season and Clements said making the change was like drinking from a fire hose. He said he would start his day in Manhattan, and fly from Kansas to Oklahoma then to Texas for recruiting purposes and be back in a span of two or three days to start the process over again.

            Clements said recruiting is easy at OSU, because the university sells itself to its potential recruits.

            “It’s not hard for them to investigate and research Oklahoma State and the success that’s going on here,” Clements said. “Obviously the facilities stand out and the Big 12 championship from the season before. It’s not hard.”

            He also attributes the success to Coach Gundy and the staff he has put together at OSU.

            “Coach Gundy has done a tremendous job down here,” Clements said. “Things are going well and it’s a program that’s not necessarily on the rise but has risen to a high level and it’s a chance to be a part of that success.”

            A recurring theme for those who are new to Stillwater is the community that embraces them once they are here. Clements said he already understands that aspect about Stillwater.

            “From the brief time I’ve been here, it seems to be a very friendly community,” Clements said. “Everybody I’ve come across is very warm and welcome. I think it’s going to be a great place to raise my children and I think it’s a place where my wife and I will feel very comfortable.”

            Clements and his wife, Pelusa, have four children: Orianna, Chance, Emma and Kaden. He said his children are looking forward to next season.

            “My oldest son is a football fan, he’s already done the research on the schedule for next year,” Clements said. “He’s planning to win the Big 12.”        

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