Positives and negatives about Mike Gundy's OSU coaching tenure
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, August 26, 2010
8/26/10 at 8:03 AM
The quarterback of 10-win Oklahoma State teams in 1987 and 1988, Mike Gundy became the Cowboys' head coach in January 2005. Through his first three seasons, he was 18-19. His overall mark is 36-27. A review of Gundy's first five seasons as OSU's head coach:
Progress: Gundy-coached OSU football teams have improved steadily in Big 12 play. In 2005, the Cowboys had a 1-7 league mark. They were 3-5 in 2006, 4-4 in 2007, 5-3 in 2008 and 6-2 last season. It was the first time an OSU team recorded six wins in any conference.
Against the North: In OSU's last 11 meetings with Big 12 North opponents, Gundy's record is 10-1. OSU defeated Nebraska twice (including a 45-14 thrashing at Lincoln in 2007) and Missouri twice (including a 28-23 road triumph in 2008, when the Tigers were unbeaten and ranked No. 3 nationally).
On the road: Gundy-coached Cowboy teams have played 30 games away from Stillwater. Through the first 15 of those games, the record was 4-11. In the next 15, the record was 9-6.
Nine wins: In 2008 and again in 2009, the Cowboys were 9-4. Gundy and Pat Jones are the only OSU coaches to have recorded consecutive seasons of at least nine victories.
The bowls: For the first time in school history, OSU has played in four consecutive bowl games.
Statistics: In terms of average yards per game, Gundy has coached three of the top seven offenses in school history. He quarterbacked the most prolific offense - the 1988 unit that averaged 530 yards and 48.7 points. He coached the second-most prolific offense - the 2008 unit that averaged 488 yards and 40.8 points.
Rankings: Dating to October 2008, the Cowboys played 22 consecutive games while ranked in the AP Top 25. In 18 of those games, OSU was in the top 15. The Cowboys were as high as No. 5 last season (after defeating Georgia in the opener).
National exposure: During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, a combined 19 Cowboy games were televised (including six on ABC, five on ESPN, four on Fox Sports Net and two on ESPN2-26). Within the span of one month last year, OSU football was featured on the covers of two Sports Illustrated issues.
Recruiting: Gundy's last five recruiting classes have included 27 players designated by Scout.com to be four-star national prospects. As of earlier this week, OSU's 2011 commitment list was ranked 12th nationally by Scout.
All-Americans: During a 19-season span that began in 1989, OSU had only two All-Americans (Gerald Hudson in 1990 and Alonzo Mayes in 1997). Over the last two seasons, the Cowboys had four All-Americans (Dez Bryant, Kendall Hunter, Perrish Cox and Russell Okung).
Business: In 2009, OSU shattered school records for average attendance (53,719), season-ticket sales (45,694) and student season-ticket sales (11,382).
The Rant: Following a 2007 home win over Texas Tech, Gundy's news-conference tirade - directed at an Oklahoma City sportswriter - became a national story and launched a catchphrase: "I'm a man! I'm 40!" Many OSU fans liked The Rant. The university administration did not.
Winless: Against Oklahoma and Texas, the Gundy-coached Cowboys are 0-10.
Worst fourth quarter: In 2007 at Boone Pickens Stadium, with 12 minutes left to play, OSU held a 21-point lead over Texas. The Longhorns rallied for a 38-35 victory.
Chris Collins: In February 2006, Gundy signed Chris Collins to a national letter of intent. A linebacker from Texarkana, Texas, Collins had been charged in 2004 with the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl. He was 17 at the time of the incident. "I did a thorough job of researching it," Gundy explained after signing Collins. "As we all know, I do what I think is right and what I think is best. I'm not always right." During the 2007 season, Collins played middle linebacker for the Cowboys - and pleaded guilty in a Texarkana courtroom. Five days later, he was dismissed from the OSU program. Ultimately, he was sentenced to 10 years of probation.
Sub-standard defense: In national total-defense rankings, the Cowboys were 95th in 2005, 89th in 2006, 101st in 2007 and 93rd in 2008. The hiring of coordinator Bill Young resulted in a dramatic turnaround. Last season, OSU was 31st nationally in total defense.
Losing to middleweights: In three meetings with Houston, Gundy's Cowboys lost twice (34-25 at Houston in 2006 and 45-35 in Stillwater last season). In a 2007 ESPN2-26 game at Troy, OSU was obliterated 41-23.
Bowl meltdowns: In the 2008 Holiday Bowl, OSU was dominated physically in a 42-31 loss to Oregon. In last season's 21-7 Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss, the Cowboys committed six fourth-quarter turnovers.
Mike Gundy is in the second season of a seven-year, $15.7 million contract.
Gundy was paid $1.8 million last year, and
his current pay is $1.925 million. His compensation
escalates to $2.1 million in 2011, $2.275
million in 2012, $2.45 million in 2013, $2.5
million in 2014 and $2.65 million in 2015.
The contract includes a buyout clause. If
Gundy leaves OSU while still bound to the
terms of the contract, the university would be
due a payment of $3 million.
If OSU wins the national title, Gundy
receives a $500,000 bonus. He gets the use
of a new vehicle, and his family is provided a
membership at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in
Original Print Headline: Mike Gundy Rewind
STILLWATER — The most nationally
renowned moment of the Mike Gundy era at
Oklahoma State occurred on Sept. 22, 2007.
During the news conference that followed
a wild 49-45 home victory over Texas Tech,
Gundy reacted to a column written by the
Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson. His three-minute
monologue became known as The Rant.
Angered by what he considered a harsh
examination of then-Cowboy backup quarterback
Bobby Reid, Gundy famously shouted,
“Come after me! I’m a man! I’m 40!” It became
a national catchphrase.
A video of Gundy’s tirade was uploaded to
YouTube and has been viewed more than 1.7
million times. Now, even Gundy himself refers
to it as The Rant.
“Well, that’s what it was — I just went off
on a rant,” he said last week. “It really doesn’t
define me as a person. It was a one-time situation
where I was really upset. Anyone who
knows me, they know that isn’t how I deal
with people. I’m an easy guy to work with.
Fans and a few coaches expressed support
for Gundy’s tirade, but it was condemned by
media members. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.
com wrote that Gundy “needs to be reprimanded,
definitely suspended, probably fined
and maybe fired.
Subsequent Gundy news conferences have
been placid by comparison, and there doesn’t
seem to be a lingering stigma attached to the
incident. He occasionally jokes about it.
“Let me tell you what it did do — it’s probably
the best thing that ever happened to us in
recruiting,” said Joe DeForest, OSU’s associate
head coach. “When we walk into a home, recruits
say, ‘I want to play for that guy (Gundy).
He sticks up for his players.’ A lot of people
may not have seen it that way, but recruits
and parents see it that way. (The Rant) could
have been a negative, but it turned out to be a
positive for this program.
“I’ll never forget that night,” DeForest
added, recalling Sept. 22, 2007. “None of us
knew how big it would become.
Dantrell Savage and OSU defeated Nebraska in Lincoln in 2007. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World file
Perrish Cox was an All-American at OSU. Tulsa World file
Mike Gundy's rant drew support from some fans. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World file
OSU players, including Alex Cate (left) and Hubert Anyiam, walk off the field following their 21-7 loss to Ole Miss in last season's Cotton Bowl. Tulsa World file