Back in December, Oklahoma State fans heard the news that their defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, arguably the best in college football, was leaving for Ohio State.
A sense of dread fell over Cowboy Nation, but not for long. Why?
Well, because Oklahoma State Athletic Director Chad Weiberg went out and made a splash, hiring one of the top defensive coordinators in the SEC: Auburn’s Derek Mason.
An incredible hire, and one that took many by surprise, should prove that Oklahoma State is willing to do what it takes to be the predominant college football program in the Big 12 when Oklahoma and Texas make their exit for the SEC.
The question remained, though, how willing are they?
How about willing enough to make Mason the highest-paid coordinator in Oklahoma State history?
According to Chris Becker of The O’Colly, the student newspaper of OSU, Derek Mason is set to make $1.1 million per year over a two-year contract. The contract is still in the works and yet to be finalized, although the expectation is that Mason and Oklahoma will come to an agreement.
That number would mean that Mason is taking a pay cut of around $400,000 to come to Oklahoma State, but can you blame him after the rumors circling in Auburn, Alabama?
It’s still substantially more than Jim Knowles made last year ($800,000), and even more than Mike Gundy made in his first year as the Cowboys head coach ($700,000). It’s safe to say that times, and money for that matter, have changed a lot since 2005.