OU officially announces Bedenbaugh as offensive line coach
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 17, 2013
NORMAN — It’s been known for days that Bill Bedenbaugh would be named Oklahoma’s new offensive line coach. On Sunday, the school confirmed the hire.
Bedenbaugh called the opportunity to join the OU staff “an easy decision” following two years at West Virginia.
“This is one of those programs that is top in the country,” Bedenbaugh said in an interview on Sooner Sports TV. “When you get the opportunity to coach at a place like Oklahoma, then your wife gets to come home with her family, it’s a no-brainer.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Bedenbaugh, 40, has coached for 18 years. Before his stay at West Virginia, he was on then-Arizona coach Mike Stoops staff at Arizona from 2007-10 as offensive line coach. He added co-offensive coordinator duties in his final season. His FBS experience also includes a seven-year stay at Texas Tech (2000-06).
Bedenbaugh's hire was confirmed by West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck on Thursday night and OU running backs coach Cale Gundy spoke about the new coach during a Friday radio interview.
“We are excited to welcome Bill and his family to the University of Oklahoma,” OU coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “Bill is a passionate teacher and a demanding coach who I believe will make an immediate impact on our football team. His track record of developing physical and disciplined offensive linemen makes him an excellent fit for our program.
“Bill is also an accomplished recruiter who will join the rest of our staff in continuing to attract some of the nation’s most talented student-athletes to Oklahoma.”
Bedenbaugh said he’ll spend the next few weeks gaining trust with his offensive linemen while planting high expectations.
“It’s a unique position and the toughest position on the field to play,” Bedenbaugh said. “The guys have the best bond. With me, you have to play the position a certain way. You have to play it tough. You have to play it physical. You gotta be mean and you gotta be nasty.
“Obviously, the fundamentals and the techniques, that’s important as well. There’s only one way to play o-line and that’s what I’m going to stress to these guys.”
OU’s offense does a lot of the same things as West Virginia’s attack, he said.
“A lot of the teams in this conference are very similar,” he said. “You have to put a spin on it. You have to have your own identity as well. Being familiar is another thing that added up in the equation of taking this job here.”
Bedenbaugh inherits a veteran offensive line, but hasn’t had much time to break down individual players.
“I don’t know a ton. I did recruit some of these kids in the past at other places. I haven’t studied them a lot,” Bedenbaugh said before going to watch tape on his players.
What does he want to bring to the OU coaching staff?
“Just an added dimension,” he said. “In any coaching staff, everybody has a part. Everybody plays a part. In recruiting, you gotta be relentless in recruiting. You gotta be relentless in coaching. I just want to play my part. I don’t think any part is bigger than the whole.
“Everybody doing their job together, hopefully we can bring another national championship back to Oklahoma.”
Bedenbaugh’s wife, Maryde, is an Oklahoma State graduate and her parents live in Tahlequah.
“She’s unbelievably excited,” Bedenbaugh said of his wife. “In coaching, as everyone knows, you move around. You very rarely get the opportunity that I’ve just been presented. I’ve been blessed.
“My wife gets to come home her to her family. I get to coach at Oklahoma. It doesn’t get any better than that.”