Oklahoma State made plenty of changes this offseason. None might be as important, however, as replacing defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer with Jim Knowles.
Knowles, the former Cornell head coach and Duke defensive coordinator, brings a fresh face to the position that coach Mike Gundy seriously wanted.
“We just needed a change,” Gundy said during a media session on Friday. “We needed some new blood.”
It’s too early to tell what impact Knowles will make in Stillwater, Okla. Spring practices just started this week, but Gundy says Knowles has been fairly active so far.
“He’s commanding the defense,” Gundy said. “At this point, he’s pretty active. I think that the Wall Street approach and the Ivy League image that he gives is not really the way he coaches. He’s been very successful in many different ways. We’ll know a lot more in a month.”
Despite Oklahoma State’s recent defensive struggles, the Cowboys have won 10 games each of the last three seasons. The Cowboys haven’t won a Big 12 championship since 2011, however, and a better defense could put Oklahoma State atop the conference again.
The Cowboys have concerns on both sides of the ball entering 2018 with the defensive coordinator change and replacing a large group of elite offensive players.
Knowles seems to have the attitude and vision Gundy wants for his program, but Oklahoma State will know more after spring practices conclude in late April.
Oklahoma State’s spring game is scheduled for April 25 at Boone Pickens Stadium.