Multiple sources say Oklahoma has agreed to hire West Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh for the same position. The story was first reported Tuesday by SoonerScoop.com of the Rivals network.
Bedenbaugh spent the past two seasons at West Virginia and would become the fourth member of Dana Holgorsen’s staff to exit during the past two months, following cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts and special teams coordinator Steve Dunlap — both of whom were fired — and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital, who left for Texas A&M.
Oklahoma’s former offensive line coach, James Patton, left this week after seven seasons to become special teams coordinator at Indiana. SoonerScoop.com writer Carey Murdock, in a phone interview with MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline” on Tuesday night, said Patton was forced out, along with defensive line coach Jackie Shipp.
“Oklahoma has fallen down a little bit on the offensive and defensive lines” since the 2008 season when it lost the BCS national title game to Florida, Murdock said. Lauded as a top recruiter, Bedenbaugh is viewed as an assistant who can help upgrade the offensive line talent.
Bedenbaugh contributed hugely to WVU’s 2013 signing class that Rivals ranked 24th nationally. Tyler Tezeno, the three-star Houston center who signed with West Virginia last week, tweeted amid reports that Bedenbaugh was a candidate at OU: “I swear this better not be true about coach B leaving…”
Bedenbaugh’s has a couple connections to the current Sooners staff. From 2007-2010 he coached at Arizona under Mike Stoops, now the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. Bedenbaugh also coached at Texas Tech from 2000-2006 under Mike Leach, who remains somewhat of a mentor to Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.
Bedenbaugh spent his first season as a college coach at Oklahoma Panhandle State in 1995, and his wife Marydee grew up in Tahlequah, Okla, less than three hours from Norman.
Bedenbaugh’s offensive line made a good impression against Oklahoma on Nov. 17 when West Virginia piled up 778 yards in a 50-49 loss. That included 458 rushing yards on 47 carries (344 of those by Tavon Austin).
A college teammate of Holgorsen’s at Iowa Wesleyan, Bedenbaugh made $250,000 last season at WVU and was scheduled to earn $300,000 in 2013. According to published reports, Oklahoma paid Patton $265,000 last season.
“I would imagine $300,000 to $350,000 wouldn’t be a problem at Oklahoma,” Murdock said.
Murdock suggested there was sentiment among the staff to bring back former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino as the offensive line coach. But his messy departure at Kansas created too much baggage.
‘I think that was something that Bob Stoops really did want to pursue … because they go all the way back to their Kansas State days together,” Murdock said. “But I don’t think the administration at Oklahoma was ever going to allow a guy to come on staff who lost his job amidst a player abuse scandal.
“Recruiting would-be a nightmare if you brought him in. It would have a really been a tough road to put together good recruiting classes on the offensive line with someone like Mangino.”