Oklahoma football: Potential candidates as the next OU offensive coordinator

Oct 9, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; North Texas Mean Green head coach Seth Littrell waits to enter the field with players against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; North Texas Mean Green head coach Seth Littrell waits to enter the field with players against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Depending on where you look, there is both a short and a longer list of potential candidates to fill the open offensive coordinator position within the Oklahoma football program after Jeff Lebby was named the new head football coach at Mississippi State.

Immediately after initial reports surfaced that OU alum Lebby was the lead candidate for the Mississippi State job, it was rumored that another Sooner alum and former player, Seth Littrell, was a top candidate as Lebby’s replacement.

In the nearly 24 hours that have elapsed, however, since the news of Lebby’s Mississippi State hiring, the list of potential candidates has been growing.

In addition to Littrell, who is already on the Sooner staff as an offensive analyst and played football at OU from 1997-2000, including the first two years of the Bob Stoops coaching era that also included Brent Venables, Littrell’s resume includes time as head coach at North Texas (2016-22) and offensive coordinator stints at Arizona, Indiana and North Carolina.


Matt Wells, also on the Sooner support staff as an offensive analyst, is another name that could be considered. Wells had a very short stint as head coach at Texas Tech and enjoyed considerable success calling plays in his final season as offensive coordinator at Utah State in 2018. In fact, Utah State averaged 47.5 points a game that season, second only to the Lincoln Riley and Kyler Murray-led Sooners.

Here’s another thought: Could Venables consider appointing Littrell and Wells as co-offensive coordinators?

Here are some other names that have come up as potential targets:

Joey Halzle

Halzle is a former OU quarterback (2006-08) who is now serving as offensive coordinator under Josh Heupel at Tennessee. Halzle was an offensive analyst at UCF in 2019 when Jeff Lebby was offensive coordinator and Heupel was the head coach. At UCF, he helped mentor Dillon Gabriell.

Bill Bedenbaugh

Bedenbaugh has served as Oklahoma offensive line coach since 2013 and has sent a number of O-linemen on to careers in the NFL. He has been a part of some of the best offenses in Sooner and college football history. He and Seth Littrell were co-offensive coordinators at Arizona in 2010 under head coach Mike Stoops.

Brad Davis

Davis is currently the offensive line coach at LSU. He has an Oklahoma connection having played on the 2000 national championship team. He has coached offensive lines at Florida, Missouri, Arkansas and LSU and is very familiar with the SEC style of play. He served as interim head coach of LSU when Ed Orgeron was fired in 2021. Davis might be ready for the next step in his career.

Will Stein

Stein is the offensive coordinator at Oregon, one of college football’s most prolific offenses this season. Oregon leads the nation in passing offense (351.4 yards per game) this season and is second in total offense (540.2 yards per game). Stein is in his first season at Oregon. He played quarterback at Louisville from 2008-12 and has strong recruiting ties in Texas, where he was the Longhorn quarterback coach from 2015-17.

Philip Montgomery

Montgomery is the current offensive coordinator at Auburn. He served eight seasons as head coach at Tulsa before being dismissed and hired in his present job at Auburn.

Longer shots but still worth looking at

Sherrone Moore

Moore already has a high-level coordinator job as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Michigan. It is doubtful that he would be willing to consider a lateral move, but he is an Oklahoma alum, He played on the Sooner offensive line in 2006-07.

Kliff Kingsbury

Kingsbury, who played quarterback at Texas Tech, is a product of the Mike Leach coaching tree. Most recently, Kingsbury was head coach of the NFL Arizona Cardinals (2019-22) and was head coach at his alma mater from 2013-18. Presently, Kingsbury is a member of Lincoln Riley’s support staff at USC.

Kendal Briles

It is probably even more doubtful that OU would hire Briles, given that he is the son of Art Briles and considering all the controversy that ensued after Jeff Lebby, the elder Briles son-in-law, had Briles join him down on the field at OU after the Sooners’ win over SMU this season. Nevertheless, the younger Briles is a highly talented offensive play caller, which Brent Venables got to witness first hand in Oklahoma’s 69-45 win in the regular-season finale this past Friday

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