Feb. 14, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy and new Cowboy coaches Todd Monken, Kasey Dunn and Jemal Singleton all visited with members of the media in Stillwater today. The highlights:
Mike Gundy, Head Coach
On everyone's new assignments:
"Todd Monken will be the offensive coordinator and coach quarterbacks, Meacham will coach the same position he did last year. Kasey Dunn will coach wide receivers and Jemal Singleton will coach the running backs."
On how he came to his decision on hiring Monken:
"We needed a smart football coach that had some experience at coaching the quarterback position at some point in their career. That was important. 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. 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."
On Monken's attitude compared to his predecessor, Dana Holgorsen:
"I think the first thing is that Todd Monken is not Dana Holgorsen and vice versa. Todd is a smart football coach and Dana did great things for us. He brought in a style of attack that we wanted and it worked out well for us. Todd has been around and he is very personable. The players will like him and they will like his attitude and the approach of being on the attack. I think it is a great fit. The first criteria is a smart football coach that understands the game and can relate well with the players and all three of these new guys fit that."
On if the offense will change with new coaches:
"We want Todd, Kasey and Jemal's input in our offense. 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."
On two of the new coaches having NFL experience:
"I think that it is good to have guys that have seen it from both sides. Some of the best coaches out there are high school coaches. It is always humbling when you go out there and you see guys that are coaching offense, defense, cutting the grass, and washing the uniforms. I think there are good coaches at all levels."
On Jemal Singleton coming from the Air Force:
"Those guys are special, the guys that can go to an academy and graduate and play football while they endure all they go through. When information came to us about Jemal, I became infatuated with it just because of that. The more I looked into it and the more people I called, I thought he was a great hire for us."
Todd Monken, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
On being back at Oklahoma State:
"I think that it is great being back at Oklahoma State. I have said this previously that our family really enjoyed being here. The place has changed tremendously since we have been here before, the support has changed and the expectations have changed."
On the style of offense he is going to run:
"Dana Holgorsen did a great job here. 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. Dana is now at West Virginia and the staff that is here now on offense has to make it moving forward what we want it to be."
On meeting with Brandon Weeden before he was hired:
"It is interesting talking to him because of his age, right away he called my Todd, so I knew I wasn't talking to an 18-year-old. It was a lot like an NFL guy. He is older and I think he just wanted to know who was going to be coaching him, who he was going to have to deal with on a daily basis. Obviously, with him and Justin Blackmon coming back there were concerns there, so we really didn't talk about offensive philosophy or my background. He had already done some research, it was more like 'what is this guy like', 'what is this guy going to bring to the table as a person.'"
Kasey Dunn, Wide Receivers
On being at OSU:
“There were a few folks down at Southern Mississippi that had spent time here. Larry Fedora was here, Robert Matthews, Walt Bell was down there. All those guys had nothing but great things to say about this place, so it was a pretty easy transition for us. It was tough leaving Coach Fedora. I really like the guy and I’m thankful for everything he did for us. It really made it a lot harder to leave Southern Miss because of Coach Fedora but this is a great place and we’re excited to be here.”
On OSU’s offense:
“I know it’s ours and we’re going to do everything we can to try and keep it as consistent as we can for the players. 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.”
On coaching OSU’s players:
“I think it’s great. How can you not like coaching the Biletnikoff winner? That’s pretty easy stuff, I just hope I don’t screw him up.”
On why OSU is an intriguing job:
“We’ve bounced around quite a bit and we’d like to sink in for a while. You ask me why this place is intriguing and for us - there’s an opportunity here with Coach Gundy to be here for a while, to sink in your roots and to get my kids a long way through school.”
On the future of the OSU program:
“You’d like to say that bar is getting raised every year and that the expectation level is getting higher and higher. Hopefully we have consistency with the staff because I think it’s tough to win that national championship with turnover. We’re going to do everything we can right now with the three new guys that are in here to get that done because there are a lot of pieces in place here for a great season and we need to make that happen.”
Jemal Singleton, Running Backs
On being at Oklahoma State:
“This is an exciting time for me in my life and for my family. We’re glad to be a part of a program that has a tradition of winning. You look at Coach Gundy and what he’s been able to accomplish here and I’m excited to come be a part of that. I’m excited to work with a great group of young men that have shown that they know how to win.”
On OSU’s running back tradition:
“I was walking through the facilities the other day and saw the “Tailback U.” board. Looking at some of the great backs that have played here, hopefully I’ve got a chance to work with great backs just like that.”
On working with OSU’s current running backs:
“I haven’t had a chance to watch a whole lot of film, but when you look at numbers and you look at the two young guys we have that played a bunch last year, it’s exciting to have guys that have been in the battle, but still have a lot of time left in their career.”
On OSU’s facilities:
“The thing that struck me first was, ‘This place cares a lot about its football.’ Football is important here. I think that’s got to be a factor with a program that wants to do things and wants to be competitive in the future. I think they’ve got that checked off. More importantly, bricks and mortar doesn’t really make it. It’s the people of this institution that really make it go. That’s what excited me the most. Talking with Coach Gundy a little bit and getting the feel of it and getting to meet the other coaches and get a feel that this was definitely a place that not only cares about its football, but has a staff and a plan in place to stay competitive for a lot of years.”
On his familiarity with OSU’s offense:
“I’ve had some interaction with an offense similar to this. At Air Force, we did play Houston multiple times, but this is the Oklahoma State offense. I think learning the X’s and O’s of an offense isn’t a tough thing. You just learn some different names and different numbers and all that, but the basic fundamentals of football are the same. As the running backs coach, making sure that my guys take care of the football, making sure that they’re aggressive and fundamentally sound. Those things don’t change whether you’re running a triple option offense or a five-wide spread offense. None of that stuff really changes.”