Mike Yurcich might have eventually gotten to the level that he is coaching at, but Mike Gundy sure expedited his process.
Yurich and Gundy will coach against each other Saturday after Yurcich coached under Gundy for six seasons.
Gundy plucked Yurcich out of Shippensburg University, a Division-II school that plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The career path from someone to go from Shippensburg OC to Texas OC would probably usually take a few seasons at the FCS level, a few seasons with a Group of Five team, then maybe a lesser Power Five school.
But Gundy changed Yurcich’s life and changed it quickly when he gave him the reigns to a historically dominant offensive program in 2013. Yurcich was asked about his first meeting with Gundy this week.
“When you’re in a situation like that, you don’t wanna get caught up in the moment and think about how much it can effect your life and just try to stay detailed,” Yurcich said. “I tried to stay as focused as I possibly could. If I thought about the impact of that thing, I probably would’ve been a stuttering fool and probably thrown up all over myself to be honest with you.”
Luckily for both Mikes involved, no one threw up, and the two went on to have a successful time togethers.
Yurcich’s OSU offenses averaged 440.1 yards a game during those six seasons. His 2017 offense averaged 568.9 yards a game, the most of any offense is school history. OSU also scored 74 touchdowns that season, the second-most in program history behind the 2011 team’s 81.
After leaving Oklahoma State, Yurcich spent the 2019 season as Ohio State’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach where he worked with future first-round pick Justin Fields. Ohio State made it to the College Football Playoff.
After a year in Columbus, Yurcich signed a three-year, $1.7 million-a-year deal to be Texas’ OC. Not bad for a guy who was coaching in the PSAC less than a decade earlier.
“Mike’s earned everything he’s gotten to this point,” Gundy said this week. “He’s worked extremely hard. He has a lot of confidence, smart football coach, and he was extremely loyal during the time that he was here and had a chance to move on and better himself and eventually be a head coach some day.”
The last game Yurcich coached in Boone Pickens Stadium was a 45-41 OSU victory against West Virginia. In that game, OSU was unranked, and the Mountaineers were ranked seventh in the country. Yurcich will again enter BPS on Saturday with hopes of knocking off a top-10 opponent as an unranked team, but this time he’ll have on a different shade of orange.
“You have to treat this game like any other,” Yurcich said. “If you get caught up in the emotions, I’ll become less effective. So, if this game becomes something more than just a very important ballgame for us, which every ballgame is, that’s the approach you have to take. I would be disappointed in myself if I took some other approach and got too emotional or thought about anything other that just a faceless opponent.”
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