Gundy addresses coaching job speculation
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 2:11 PM
Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy was courted for head coaching positions at Tennessee and Arkansas before the jobs were filled last week.
The coaching carousel was the dominant topic when Gundy took part in a regularly scheduled call-in interview during SiriusXM’s “College Sports Nation” show Monday morning.
The interview lasted eight-and-a-half minutes.
Seven minutes passed before Gundy was asked about something other than the drama of last week.
“With technology today and the Internet today and all the chat rooms, most of what is out there is not true,” Gundy said.
“But, as a coach, when you have success -- and it’s really the players that have provided these opportunities for me -- it has gone on every year that we have started playing well that people contact you. And, because of that, most of what is said is not really true.
“But if any of it is at all, you just don’t really talk about it much based on the people that are involved -- universities that are looking for coaches or whether they are out visiting with other potential candidates. They don’t necessarily want people to know that somebody is interested or not interested.”
Gundy said the job speculation was tough on everyone, including his family.
“I think that the perception out there is it’s fun for a coach and they like their name being out there and I can only speak for myself,” he said.
“But when it gets into a situation like that, it’s really not fun at all. Some people say ‘well, why don’t you just put a stop to all of it and just say this or that?’ But... one thing I have learned in this profession -- not only in a potential job opportunity but in recruiting or any other situation -- you have to be careful what you say because you never know when something can happen.”
Gundy said he has a great job. He said people at OSU have been tremendous to him and cited a longterm contract that runs through 2019.
“I am comfortable here,” he said. “But you never know. You could get a call from somebody and they may offer something that is just out of the ordinary or through the roof and eventually you may say that’s an opportunity I can’t turn down.”
A strained relationship with athletic director Mike Holder and a desire for more control over program issues like scheduling were cited in reports about Gundy’s motives for listening to Tennessee and Arkansas.
While in Texas for a Heart of Dallas Bowl press conference last Thursday, Gundy made his first public comments about the job speculation. He said there was “no question” he is staying and he said his relationship with Holder was “a lot better than what people say.”
Gundy said during the SiriusXM show that he had meetings with his team last week and kept them up to date. He also said they would be the first to know if anything transpired.
Gundy, who as of Monday morning had yet to address the job situation with state media, also said this during the SiriusXM interview: “The one thing that we have done here that has been good is we have been very honest with everybody involved. I’m out there in the public all the time with (my) three young boys. I am at a basketball practice or recruiting or the wife makes me pick things up from the grocery store, so... I have not sheltered myself from the public.”
“College Sports Nation” host Mark Packer suggested to Gundy that anyone in any profession who closes a door to an opportunity is doing himself a disservice.
Gundy agreed, saying, “In most cases... people are going to (tell their family) I’ve got to look and see what’s going on here because these people have offered me an opportunity....’
“Unfortunately, in college football or the NFL really for that matter, if you do that it becomes national news instantly. And so the decision becomes tougher because it’s not between the coach and his family and the administration at that school. It becomes everybody’s business and it makes it a much more difficult decision to make.”
Gundy said any decisions he made were “based on what is best for this team, first, and then, ultimately, what is best for my family and the university.”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy during their loss to Baylor earlier this month. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World File