Q&A with OSU's head coach Mike Gundy
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, July 02, 2009
7/02/09 at 3:25 AM
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STILLWATER — Each year, Oklahoma State football Mike Gundy plays exactly only one round of golf.
"It's always at Southern Hills in Tulsa with a great group of OSU guys," Gundy said. "It's beautiful. I shot 93 there last year. That's pretty good for me.
"I don't put in the time to be a very good golfer. This year, I shot a 108. I took some chances. I don't worry about the water. I don't go out there to lay up and hit a wedge. I'm going to hit a 3-wood."
Because he is considerably more interested in football than in golf, Gundy in four years has taken OSU from a last-place Big 12 finish to a possible preseason Top 10 national ranking.
On July 13, Gundy and his assistants move into their offices in the new, $180 million west-end structure at Boone Pickens Stadium. While seated at the desk of his current office, he addressed a variety of subjects.
As of August, when Baylor completes construction of its new indoor practice facility, OSU will be the Big 12's only school without such a facility. Could it hurt your recruiting effort?
In the past, people would recruit against us by talking about our stadium, by talking about our failure to win and by talking about us not being in the Top 25. Slowly but surely, we've been countering all of that. Our stadium is as good as anybody's, we've been winning and we've been ranked. Also, the continuity of our coaching staff is a huge deal in recruiting.
In December, you and athletic director Mike Holder agreed on the terms of a seven-year, $15.7 million contract. Why haven't you signed the contract?
There are no problems with the contract whatsoever. The attorneys have just been slow. Coach Holder and I negotiated on a piece of paper — a Big Chief tablet. Since coach Holder and I did this, the only changes have been dinky stuff.
What was your reaction to having a 2:30 p.m. start time for the Georgia-OSU game on Sept. 5 (ABC) and the Houston-OSU game on Sept. 12 (Fox Sports Net)?
I think it's a very good thing for Oklahoma State football. Our first two games are basically on national television. It's a heck of a deal, right?
Starting with the 2010 season, the final regular-season ballots in the USA Today coaches' poll will not be released to the public. How do you feel about coaches not being obligated to release their ballots?
I can see both sides of it. I don't know if any coaches have time to really do it right, anyway. When I voted, I tried to do the best I could, but I never saw Oregon or Fresno State play. If someone is going to vote in a poll that is a factor in the (Bowl Championship Series), they need to have a wealth of education each week on how everybody is playing and how the schedules compare. Is a team playing three (soft opponents) in a row? Texas was ranked No. 1 last year, and we lost 28-24 in Austin. We had a chance to win on the last possession. And then we were dropped in the poll. Why? I have an issue with that. We're playing on the road, against the No. 1 team in the country, and we lose on the last drive. Why do you drop?
Now that you're more than two months removed from spring football, and you've reviewed everything thoroughly, do you remain confident that new defensive coordinator Bill Young can get better results from your defense this season?
I feel good about it. I like Bill Young. We made the right move to hire him. We'll be better on defense. Last season, we showed improvement, but we weren't good enough. I think we'll be even better this season.
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Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy believes it is a very good thing that his team's first two games this season will be nationally televised. John Clanton/The Oklahoman