MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

October 5, 2013

Former K-State coach excited to face old team

STILLWATER — It’s the burden of a coach – and his family.

Going from one team to another, there is bound to be old allegiances. And while defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements wears his Oklahoma State orange with pride, a week like this reminds him of the little bit of purple that still lingers around the house.

Before joining the Cowboy coaching staff this past offseason, Clements spent several years coaching at Kansas State – OSU’s opponent today at Boone Pickens Stadium. Clements played at Kansas State and was an assistant right out of college between 1999 and 2002, before being promoted to the defensive ends coach in 2003.

After three years away from the program – spent as the defensive line coach at San Diego State and Kansas – he returned to the Kansas State campus in 2009 until leaving for Stillwater in January.

He still has friends back in Manhattan, Kan., and those who were unable to get their request in early enough for the 2:30 p.m. kickoff, well they are out of luck.

“Yeah, I have no tickets available. I have four kids and a wife, so those tickets were eaten up a long time ago. I have no seats available, especially for anyone wearing purple,” said Clements, who spent 16 years as a player, staffer and full-time assistant at K-State.

While some coaches may utilize the knowledge of a coach from his previous time as a member of an upcoming opponent, Clements said he’s going to limit how much he talks about the system and players that were there under him.

“If I try to do too much of that, it might end up causing more issues than benefits. I’ve spent a lot of time practicing against Kansas State’s offense, but it’s a different perception because we never had to play them,” the OSU defensive line coach said. “They did things in practice that caused us problems, but we would just shrug it off because we weren’t keeping score. Now that I’m an opponent, I’m seeing it through a different set of eyes.”

The former Kansas State coach is just looking forward to going against his former colleagues and players in purple.

“It’s going to be good. This is a profession. I obviously care about the players and coaches over there, and I think it’s going to be fun,” Gundy said. “It’s going to be great to get after it and compete. It’s going to be a hard-fought game, and I want us to come out on top. That’s what we’re preparing for – to win. Regardless, I think it will be a great matchup.”

And while his family is still learning to bleed OSU orange, Clements conceded that there will also be a spot in their heart for his alma mater – whenever they don’t play Oklahoma State.

“If Kansas State is not playing Oklahoma State, they can cheer for them all they want,” Clements said. “But being a coach’s family, we’ve learned a long time ago that it’s bad karma to necessarily cheer against anybody. You cheer for your team and wish everybody the best, as long as they aren’t playing your team.”

Instead, Clements said his family will make a trip to Norman next week to root for the Kansas State volleyball team – a sport that Oklahoma State does not field.

“My wife and kids have already bought tickets for next Saturday, they are going down to watch K-State volleyball play. Oklahoma State doesn’t have a volleyball team, Suzie Fritz (Kansas State volleyball coach), is a dear friend of mine so they are going to get to go cheer on Kansas State in Norman,” Clements said.

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