When longtime special teams coordinator Joe DeForest left to take charge of West Virginia's defense, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy took advantage of a new NCAA rule to replace him in an unconventional way.
Instead of hiring another regular assistant coach to his staff, Gundy brought in graduate assistant Ty Linder from Texas Tech and gave him oversight of the Cowboys' punts, kickoffs and field goals. It was a move made possible by a NCAA rule that allows football programs to have four graduate assistants - instead of just two - starting with this season.
As he prepares to go up against DeForest and the Mountaineers on Saturday, Gundy says he can't expect Linder to replace nearly two decades of experience. But he considers Linder an ''up and rising'' special teams coordinator.