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Oklahoma State hires Yurcich to run offense

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma State hired Mike Yurcich as its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Thursday, bringing in an assistant who helped Shippensburg put up big numbers in Division II the past two seasons.

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The 37-year-old Yurcich replaces Todd Monken, who left to become the head coach at Southern Mississippi. Yurcich will be asked to step in and run Oklahoma State's prolific spread offense, which has ranked in the top five in total offense and scoring each of the past three seasons while being handed down from Dana Holgorsen to Monken.

The Cowboys were fourth in the nation last year with 547 yards per game and third in scoring at 45.7 points even after losing quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon to the NFL.

``Joining the program at Oklahoma State is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family,'' Yurcich said in a statement. ``I am excited to continue the offensive firepower that has been in place at OSU for many years. I've often admired the OSU system and I'm looking forward to learning and then teaching the Oklahoma State offense.''

Yurcich's first team at Shippensburg set school records for points, touchdowns, first downs and total offense. His second team led Division II in total offense (529.2 yards per game) and was second nationally in scoring (46.9 points) and passing offense (387.7 yards during an 11-2 season.

He previously was the offensive coordinator at Edinboro and St. Francis (Ind.) and a graduate assistant at Indiana. He is a native of Euclid, Ohio, and was the starting quarterback at California University of Pennsylvania before graduating in 1999.

``Coach Yurcich has 14 years of experience coaching quarterbacks and a thorough background in the passing game,'' coach Mike Gundy said. ``He has been a very successful offensive coordinator for many years.''

The Cowboys are set to start spring drills on March 11. The final session is scheduled for April 20.

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