When Oklahoma State parted ways with offensive line coach Greg Adkins, it was a surprising move considering the improvements the group has made the last two seasons. However, despite that success, it’s clear that after some recent misses on the recruiting trail, coach Mike Gundy is looking for a guy that can reliably bring talent into Stillwater and keep them there.
It didn’t take Gundy long to find his man, and who he hired is just as surprising as the firing of coach Adkins. But hey, that’s coach Gundy.
Oklahoma State announced the hiring of Josh Henson on Friday to replace Adkins.
“Josh is highly intelligent and he knows the things that need to happen for us to be successful at Oklahoma State,” Mike Gundy said in the statement announcing Henson’s hire. “We know him well and we’re excited about what he brings to our team.”
Here’s where things get weird. It was announced just a couple of weeks ago that coach Henson was hired away from Oklahoma State to be Arizona State’s assistant head coach, offensive line coach and run game coordinator. That must have been an awkward conversation with Sun Devils coach Todd Graham when he told him that he was going to return to Stillwater.
Henson has strong ties to Oklahoma State. Last season he was an offensive consult for the Pokes, but his ties to the program go back much further. He was a four-year letterman for the Cowboys from 1994 to 1997.
“Oklahoma State is my alma mater and will always have a special place in my heart. The opportunity to come back and be part of Cowboy football is special to me,” Henson said. “I want to thank Coach Gundy for giving me the opportunity to come back. I want to thank Coach Graham for the opportunity to coach at Arizona State, though it was for a short time. What excites me about returning to Stillwater is the opportunity to take OSU to the next level. When you win 10 games, winning those extra couple games is a real challenge, and I’m excited to have that opportunity.”
Henson has an extensive coaching career and is known to be a solid recruiter. He started his collegiate coaching career at Oklahoma State under Les Miles and followed him from Stillwater to LSU. He helped lead the Tigers to a National Title in 2008 as well as helped to bring in a couple of top 10 recruiting classes. Henson was ranked by Rivals as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country in 2006 and 2007. He eventually ended up at Missouri in 2009 as their offensive line coach before eventually moving up into the offensive coordinator position under Gary Pinkel.
It’s the splashy hire Gundy needed after a string of bad news, especially as Oklahoma State just lost one of their biggest recruiters.