Kansas State assistant coach Joe Bob Clements is leaving Manhattan to coach the defensive line at Oklahoma State, according to a tweet from Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy.
“Excited to announce Joe Bob Clements as the new defensive line coach at Oklahoma State,” Gundy tweeted Sunday morning. “Great addition to our staff.”
Clements coached the defensive ends and was the defensive run-game coordinator this past season for the Wildcats, who lost to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3. He tutored senior defensive ends Meshak Williams and Adam Davis, who earned All-Big 12 honors this season for a defense that ranked first in the Big 12 in scoring defense and was second against the run.
The news came as a shock to Iowa Western Community College defensive end Devon Nash, who signed with K-State last month.
“I was really surprised — especially for him to go from Kansas State to Oklahoma State,” said Nash, who learned of Clements’ move following church on Sunday morning. “That’s a rival.”
Nash said he hasn’t been contacted by Clements.
“I kind of expect a call, but I don’t know if I’ll get one,” he said.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Nash has already signed at K-State and intends to fulfill his obligation to the Wildcats — even with Clements gone. But had he not signed already, well, that might have made things a little more interesting.
“I don’t want to think about that,” said Nash, who was also heavily recruited by the Cowboys. “That’s really hard to say. There’s a possibility that I could have (switched my commitment), but I just love what (Bill) Snyder has done with this program.
“I’m sure he’s going to find a great coach and replace Joe Bob with a good coach and teacher. I’m not too worried about it.”
Nash said when he met with Clements during a home visit this fall, he asked the former K-State defensive end how long he would stay in Manhattan, which is another reason the three-star recruit was surprised by the jump south.
“From what he told me, he said the only way he would leave Kansas State if he could be a defensive coordinator somewhere,” he said. “But, I felt really good about him staying at Kansas State, since he’s from Kansas and played at Kansas State.”
Clements was part of Snyder’s staff for 11 years, including all four years since Snyder’s return to the sideline in 2009. He has been a part of 13 bowl games for the Wildcats as a player and coach.
Mercury sports editor Joshua Kinder and sportswriter Brady Bauman contributed to this story.