Young out, Spencer in as OSU defensive coordinator

Young out, Spencer in as OSU defensive coordinator

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Bill Young stepped down after four seasons as Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator Thursday, meaning the Cowboys will have two new coordinators next season.

Coach Mike Gundy said Young will be replaced by linebackers coach Glenn Spencer. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken left to become the head coach at Southern Miss and he has not yet been replaced.

Young's exit was somewhat surprising. Leading up to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, he had discussed contemplating retirement after more than 40 years in coaching that included stops at Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Southern California, Oklahoma and with the NFL's Detroit Lions. But after a dominant performance in the bowl game against Purdue, Young said he had decided to stay as long as he was wanted.

That didn't end up being much longer.

Young's defenses were known for causing turnovers more frequently than any other team in the country. Over his first three seasons, the Cowboys created 108 takeaways, 17 more than any other team. But Oklahoma State couldn't keep up that pace after the best season in school history, falling off to an 8-5 finish this season.

The unit's 22 takeaways ended up in the middle of the pack nationwide, with five of those coming in the 48-14 bowl blowout against Purdue. That total was exactly half of the 44 turnovers forced as Oklahoma State won its first Big 12 championship, the Fiesta Bowl and a school-record 12 games in 2011.

The takeaways had also been a key part in his defense at Kansas in 2007, when the Jayhawks ranked in the top five in the country with 35 turnovers forced on their way to an Orange Bowl victory.

Before this season, Gundy had suggested the defense could be the best in his tenure at Oklahoma State, but it fell far short those expectations.

The Cowboys finished the season ranked 80th in the nation with 421.7 yards allowed per game and 110th in pass defense, giving up 280 yards per game. Instead of getting takeaways at all the key moments, Oklahoma State struggled to get stops when they were needed the most.

``We are appreciative of everything Coach Young has done for us over the past four years,'' Gundy said in a statement, ``but we are also excited about heading in a new direction with our defense.''

Spencer filled in as Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator for the first two games this season, when Young was recovering from treatment for an aneurysm that was found between his eyes. That included a shutout against overmatched Savannah State in the opener and a 42-30 loss at Arizona.

Spencer has been the Cowboys' linebackers coach for the past five seasons. He was also given the title of co-defensive coordinator prior to the 2011 season. He previously was an assistant coach at Duke and Georgia Tech, his alma mater.

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Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

On June 4, 1998, Joe Juneau scored the biggest goal in the history of the Washington Capitals.

In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, Joe Juneau attacked the crease and shot in a rebound past a helpless Dominik Hasek in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and win the Eastern Conference.

That goal sent the Capitals to its first and, before 2018, only Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Ovechkin’s name was already etched in the history books for the Capitals several times over, but on Wednesday he added it again with the biggest goal of his career. His goal in Game 7 stood as the game-winner meaning it was the goal that sent the Capitals to their second Cup Final.

You can watch it here:

It did not come in overtime and was not quite as dramatic as Juneau’s. In fact, no one knew the significance of the goal at the time. It came just 62 seconds into the contest. It was a significant goal, but no one realized right away that it would be an historic one.

How fitting is it that Ovechkin scored the game-winner? Ovechkin who this team was built around, who reignited the franchise and built Washington into a hockey city. After all the criticism over the years, all the talk about how he can’t win, all talk about how the team should take away the C and all the talk about how the Caps should trade him and start over, this goal was not just a moment of history, but one of vindication.

When we look back on Ovechkin’s career, at all the individual awards and accomplishments, this one single goal will stand above the rest. This was the biggest game of his career and he scored the biggest goal of his career just 62 seconds in.

There’s one way he can top that: lead the Caps past Vegas for their first Stanley Cup.


5.24.18: Rick Horrow talks with Andy Bush, EVP Global Events Octagon Worldwide


5.24.18: Rick Horrow talks with Andy Bush, EVP Global Events Octagon Worldwide

Sports professor Rick Horrow talks with Andy Bush, EVP Global Events at Octagon Worldwide and wraps around the world of sports business for this week.

By Rick Horrow

Podcast Editor: Tanner Simkins