OSU names Mike Yurcich as new offensive coordinator
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Friday, February 08, 2013
2/08/13 at 7:11 AM
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Mike Yurcich just coached a quarterback who won the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy, alias the NCAA Division II Heisman Trophy.
What will he do for an encore?
During 2013 spring drills, Yurcich will coach three quarterbacks who started games at Oklahoma State last season.
Mike Gundy announced via Twitter on Thursday morning that Yurcich - who spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania - has been hired as OSU's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Yurcich, 37, will become OSU's third offensive coordinator in four seasons. Dana Holgorsen left after a one-season stay in 2010 to become West Virginia's head coach. Todd Monken left after two seasons to become Southern Mississippi's head coach.
Holgorsen and Monken catapulted to head coaching jobs because OSU's offense has been as good as any in the land. The Cowboys ranked fourth or better nationally in total offense and scoring each of the last three seasons.
Yurcich (pronounced "your-sich") was lighting up scoreboards too, albeit in smaller stadiums. He helped Shippensburg break or tie 73 school records during an 11-2 season in 2012.
The Red Raiders led all NCAA Division II teams in total offense and ranked second in scoring. Yurcich's offense averaged 46.5 points and was held below 36 points just twice, never mind that, two years earlier, he inherited players who were recruited to run a wing-T offense.
"Joining the program at Oklahoma State is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family," Yurcich said in a press release issued by OSU's sports information office.
"I am excited to continue the offensive firepower that has been in place at OSU for many years. I've often admired the OSU system and I'm looking forward to learning and then teaching the Oklahoma State offense."
Gundy did not want a new offensive coordinator who would bring in a new system. He wanted an offensive coordinator who would continue to use a system that has been good to the Cowboys and allowed them to win games last season with quarterbacks Wes Lunt, J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf trading starts.
"Coach Yurcich has 14 years of experience coaching quarterbacks and a thorough background in the passing game," Gundy said in a press release, adding that Yurcich has been a successful coordinator for many years.
"He played quarterback (Yurcich was a three-year starter at California University in Pennsylvania) and has been a student of the position as well as a student of offensive football for 14 years. He will be in place immediately to start getting prepared for spring football."
One of Yurcich's "students" - Shippensburg quarterback Zach Zulli - became the seventh underclassman to win the Harlon Hill Trophy. Zulli led all divisions of college football in 2012 with 54 touchdown passes, which tied a Division II single-season record.
During a Dec. 14 Harlon Hill Trophy acceptance speech, Zulli thanked Yurcich "for being my quarterbacks coach and teaching me everything that I have learned my entire career there. He pushes me every day, even though we have had some really tough times. He is a great coach and a great guy."
Shippensburg coach Mark Maciejewski congratulated Yurcich for getting the OSU job and wished his former coordinator the best of luck.
"He was integral member of the Red Raider family and a valuable instructor to our outstanding players who achieved many great things both on and off the field last season," Maciejewski said in a press release.
Yurcich also has served on coaching staffs at Edinboro University (where he met his wife, Julie, an All-America cross country athlete), Indiana (where he was a graduate assistant) and Saint Francis University in Indiana.
Yurcich and the Cowboys open spring drills March 11.
Hometown: Euclid, Ohio
College: Played two seasons at Mount Union College and concluded his quarterback career at California University of Pennsylvania, where he was a two-year captain
Coaching experience: 14 years
Previous stops: Shippensburg, 2011-12 (offensive coordinator); Edinboro, 2006-10 (offensive coordinator, assistant coach); Indiana, 2003-04 (graduate assistant); Saint Francis (Ind.), 1999-2002 (offensive coordinator, assistant coach)
Personal: Wife, Julie; sons Jack and Clay
OSU spring practices
Begin March 11 Finale: April 20
Original Print Headline: Yurcich joins the OSU staff
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389