Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has been one of the most divisive figures since he arrived in Stillwater back in 2013. Some Cowboy fans appreciate the work he’s done, while others have wanted him run out of town on a rail pretty much since he arrived.
Well, if David Ubben of The Athletic ($$) is correct, the later group may finally get their wish.
In his weekly mailbag, Ubben says that Yurcich is the top candidate at the moment for the Volunteer’s vacant OC job, and has even had a meeting with head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
That said, we know Jeremy Pruitt met with Houston OC Kendal Briles, UCF QB coach Jeff Lebby and Oklahoma State OC Mike Yurcich on Friday.
Almost by default, Yurcich is the frontrunner, and the best bet to get the job at this point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen.
The former two didn’t impress as much as Yurcich during the interview process, and as Bruce Feldman reported over the weekend, the desire for Briles to bring his offensive line coach, Randy Clements, complicated the hire a little bit. Pruitt believes Will Friend is among the nation’s best offensive line coaches, and they were roommates back at Alabama.
This is a bit odd considering the thought that Yurcich might just not be great in an interview. He apparently had an impressive interview with Pruitt. Maybe he was more comfortable.
Ubben also talked about how Yurcich would be coming from a program that could not be more different.
Another factor with Yurcich that no one is talking about: The way Oklahoma State and Tennessee’s programs are run could not be more different. Mike Gundy is a quintessential CEO coach. He often watches practices from the stands. I’ve sat in the stands and watched with him before. He has input, but Yurcich does what he wants. And Oklahoma State cut way, way back on the amount of hours coaches spent in the facility in the name of work/life balance and having fresher minds when it was time to focus on football. It’s paid off in a big way for them.
At Tennessee he would spend a lot more time in his office. Pruitt’s style is a lot different from Gundy’s. I don’t think the reins would be as loose if he went there, as far as being able to make decisions. It would be a big culture shock for Yurcich. Like Ubben said, I think he could adjust, but it would take awhile.
I honestly think that he would do well in Knoxville. But I think it would require a lot of getting used to. He’s used to an uptempo offense when Tennessee doesn’t really run but I still think that he could do well there. He could bring a different outlook to the Vols.
This is some fantastic insight into the search. It’s still of toss up with all the candidates being drastically different, but as far as the interviews go, it sounds like Yurcich made an impression on Pruitt.