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Mike Gundy Hires Six, Including Former Duke DC Jim Knowles

Gundy likely has his new defensive coordinator.

Jeremy McKnight/Icon SMI

After only 18 days of searching, it appears that Mike Gundy has his new defensive coordinator.

The Cowboys’ head coach announced the hires on Twitter Monday evening.

Jim Knowles

Jim Knowles comes to Stillwater after spending nine years in Durham with the Blue Devils. He was the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Duke.

From Knowles’ biography page from Duke:

In 2017, Duke’s Knowles-led defense was one of the best in the ACC, ranking among the league’s leaders in both scoring defense (3rd) and total defense (4th). The Blue Devils allowed just 20.23 points per game, marking the program’s lowest total since 1977, and surrendered more than 24 points just twice. Duke was one of just four defenses in the ACC to have four players register 9.0 tackles for loss or more each, joining Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech.

Greg Richmond

Some fans may remember another name on that list. That’s right. Another former Cowboy is coming home to join his alma mater’s football staff.

Greg Richmond was a monster on the Cowboy defensive line from 1999-2003. He currently holds the fourth-best number of career sacks with 21.5 in the orange and black.

At Fairmont State, Richmond held the titles of defensive line coach and director of player development. He started his coaching career as the assistant director strength and conditioning at Oklahoma State.

Shane Eachus

Eachus is jumping up from Division III to join the Cowboys. This previous two seasons, he was the defensive coordinator for the Ursinus Bears in the Centennial Conference in the mid-Atlantic region.

Brian Rock

Rock was the interim head coach for the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders in the final four games last season. In that span, he led the team to a 2-2 record. Rock was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the school since 2015.

From his Holy Cross biography:

During the 2015 campaign, Rock’s offense led the Patriot League with an average of 295.7 passing yards per game. Wide receiver Brendan Flaherty, wide receiver Kalif Raymond and quarterback Peter Pujals earned All-Patriot League honors, with Flaherty also being selected as an All-American.

M.K. Taylor

So there’s not a lot out there on Taylor. If you Google search his name, the first result is a contractor. (I’m not kidding.)

From his LinkedIn page, I was able to gather that Taylor was a former long-snapper for Alabama from 2010-14. After graduating from Alabama, he joined the staff at Jacksonville State as a defensive analyst.

According to his Twitter page, Taylor will be filling the role of special teams analyst on Gundy’s staff.

Chris Thurmond

Gundy added a “free agent” with Thurmond. Thurmond last served as the defensive coordinator at Rice in 2017. Thurmond is a native Oklahoman, hailing from Sand Springs. He has coached all over the place, featuring stops in the Big 12, SEC, C-USA, and multiple other schools.

All the roles of these six new faces (well, five if you say Richmond isn’t a new face) are unknown at this time.

Robert Allen of GoPokes is reporting that Knowles is officially the defensive coordinator, but the Oklahoma State media relations have not confirmed.

We will pass on the official titles when we get them.

Until then, welcome the new coaches to the program!