OSU football: Mike Gundy looking for physicality, toughness from new offensive line coach Charlie Dickey
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy had already identified his top candidate to fill his offensive line coaching vacancy, but still needed to do some background work on Charlie Dickey.
Gundy called UTEP coach Dana Dimel, who had been Kansas State’s offensive coordinator with Dickey coaching the line for nine seasons.
In addition to a coach who would build strong relationships with his players, Gundy wanted physicality and toughness.
Dimel asked what Gundy had thought about the toughness of K-State offensive lines over the last decade.
“That pretty much ended the conversation right there,” Dimel said with a laugh.
“Charlie will bring that to the table, and give Mike what he wants there.”
Gundy’s conversation with Dickey, who had not been retained at Kansas State after Bill Snyder’s retirement in December, didn’t last much longer. Gundy had tried to lure Dickey away from Snyder’s staff a couple of times before.
“I told him I was gonna try to do this one more time,” Gundy said. “He said, ‘I’ll take the job,’ and that really wrapped it up.”
With an experienced core group of linemen, and several young, talented players ready to be molded, Dickey dove right into work when OSU opened spring practice earlier this month.
Now that spring break is in the rearview mirror, Dickey will have four weeks of practices to focus on apply his influence on his new linemen.
“I like the way he coaches us,” said senior left guard Marcus Keyes, who has been starting since he was a freshman. “He gets us going. He’s fired up to be here, ready to keep us in check. He’s juiced up for us to start practicing and get us playing to our fullest extent.”
Throughout his career, Dickey has worked just as well with elite talent as he has with lower-level prospects.
“We had some talent at K-State, and Charlie put some guys in the NFL,” Dimel said. “But he also had a lot of overachievers, because they played with great discipline and great toughness.”
The announcement of Dickey’s hiring came a day after reports that former offensive line coach Josh Henson had accepted a position at Texas A&M.
Gundy didn’t need to do much research, having seen K-State’s offensive lines up close the last 10 years.
“They’re good at what they do,” Gundy said. “They take quality young men and they work hard, they block well, they’re tough, they’re physical. They’ve had a number of guys that maybe in somebody’s opinion weren’t so highly recruited and have gone on and played in the NFL.”
Dickey brings toughness and compassion, a combination that makes him an ideal fit for the Cowboys.
“He’s very demanding, but he does it in a positive manner,” Dimel said. “Sometimes that’s a hard bridge for coaches to understand. You can be very demanding and very hard on your players, but at the same time, you’ve got to be positive with them and build confidence.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys struggle with that, but I think that’s one of the things Charlie is really, really good at.”