Since USC Trojans offensive coordinator Graham Harrell signed a contract extension to remain in Los Angeles last Monday, there hasn’t been much movement with the offensive coordinator search for the Texas Longhorns.
Until Sunday that is, when Brett McMurphy of Stadium reported that Ohio State passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich is now the leading candidate for the open position in Austin. In addition, Minnesota offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is also reportedly in the mix.
An Ohio native, Yurcich returned to the Buckeye State when he was hired at the beginning of this year by new coach Ryan Day. The addition has paid dividends, as Yurcich has helped produce the nation’s No. 4 offense in SP+ and guided quarterback Justin Fields to the No. 4 passing rating in the country. Fields has thrown for 2,953 yards so far this season, along with 40 touchdowns and only one interception.
Before taking the job in Columbus, Yurcich spent six seasons working under head coach Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State, a stretch that included two nominations for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s best assistant coach.
Gundy has cycled through a number of offensive coordinators since taking over for Les Miles in Stillwater, but Yurcich was one of his best — Oklahoma State averaged 38 points per game and 478.3 yards per game during Yurcich’s time with the Cowboys. In 76 games under Yurcich, the Pokes scored 40 or more points in 40.6 percent of their games, including 15 games of 50 or more points.
Four of the top six seasons for total offense in school history came under Yurcich, producing a 52-24 record, four 10-win seasons, and four bowl game victories.
Nationally, the Oklahoma State offenses ranked No. 5 in passing yards per game (315.9), No. 11 in touchdown passes (179), No. 7 in total yards (478.6), and No. 6 in scoring (38.0).
“I am really excited to announce that Mike is joining the Ohio State staff,” Day said when he hired Yurcich. “Mike is not only an Ohioan coming home, but he is also an extremely talented coach who has enjoyed success throughout his career. His Oklahoma State offenses have been among the most proficient in college football and I look forward to welcoming and introducing Mike and his family to our staff, players and community.”
Just because Yurcich is the leading candidate, however, don’t expect any immediate movement, as Ohio State will face Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals next Saturday.
“As far as the offensive coordinator search goes, take a deep breath right now, talk to a few guys,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said on Wednesday. “I promised the players, I promised the recruits that we would get the very best and most of those guys are still playing in bowl games or are in the NFL, so yeah, I have explored some NFL options as well. This is something that could take awhile because of the bowl games that these guys are playing in.”