Mike Gundy stood at the podium during his weekly press conference Tuesday, his mind obviously somewhere else as he addressed the media.
His answers were short. His face was stoic, even when poking fun at his younger brother, Cale, the running backs coach at Oklahoma.
Near the end of the conference, he pulled out his phone to answer a text while a member of the media asked him a question.
Gundy didn’t want to be there. After this season, the O’Colly thinks maybe it’s best that he isn’t.
The 10-year coach at Oklahoma State, the coach who turned a program around and has brought it to new heights, has slowly become a villain to all but the Cowboy fans who worship him and the program.
It’s getting to the point where Gundy is doing the university a disservice with his complete disregard for public relations. Sure, he’s a tremendous football coach, but there are plenty of people around the country who can coach football. Most of them would likely do so in a way that’s far less abrasive than Gundy’s.
Slowly, and for unknown reasons, Gundy has appeared less and less interested in this job. The same job he called his “Yankees job” years ago.
Since then, a lot has changed. His relationship with Mike Holder, the athletic director, has become strained.
Now, mega-booster and billionaire T. Boone Pickens doesn’t seem supportive of Gundy any longer.
Maybe it’s even fair to say that Gundy doesn’t deserve all the credit for OSU’s rise. Without Pickens and his money, OSU wouldn’t be what it is now. Gundy’s job would certainly be much more difficult.
Feuding with the people who sign your paychecks? Bad move, Mike.
Gundy is also showing a growing history of making poor personnel decisions. That might explain why he doesn’t want to talk about them.
When former offensive coordinator Todd Monken departed to become coach of Southern Miss, Gundy didn’t turn to longtime offensive masterminds Joe Wickline or Doug Meacham. Instead, he hired Mike Yurcich out of Division-II Shippensburg from Pennsylvania.
Where are all three now? Yurcich is constantly criticized for his ineptitude at playcalling and is seemingly on the hot seat.
Wickline is at Texas, also in an ongoing legal battle with Oklahoma State over a possible breach of contract. He’s also helping the Longhorns awaken the sleeping giant that is Texas football.
In his first year, Doug Meacham has revolutionized TCU’s offense, has the Horned Frogs in position for a College Football Playoff berth and is one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.
Bad move, Mike.
As for quarterbacks, outside of Brandon Weeden and Zac Robinson, Gundy manages a constantly turning carousel. In the past three years alone, Gundy has started Wes Lunt, J.W. Walsh, Clint Chelf, Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph at quarterback.
Injuries have made for tough situations, but Gundy’s decisions haven’t helped. Bad moves, Mike.
This year, Garman took over for injured J.W. Walsh in the second game of this season, and despite early success, has struggled. After a reported concussion, Gundy pulled Rudolph’s redshirt for the Baylor game.
Rudolph competed admirably, going toe-to-toe statistically with Baylor’s Bryce Petty in a 49-28 loss. It was the first time in five games the Cowboys scored more than 20 points.
Now, Gundy won’t declare whether Garman or Rudolph will start in Bedlam on Saturday. This comes after rumors that Rudolph threatened to leave OSU when another freshman, Taylor Cornelius, took first-team reps in the early part of the week prepping for Baylor.
That was almost a bad move, Mike. Don’t make it a bad move by playing Garman against OU.
There are other big-name football programs looking for a new coach. Florida and Nebraska are taken, but Michigan is up for grabs. Other programs might be once that job is filled.
Depending on where he went, Gundy might have more recruiting potential. It would be a fresh start. It could mean a bigger payday, a chance to do bigger and brighter things than what he’s done for OSU.
But this is his Yankees job, right?
The longest-tenured Yankees manager was Joe McCarthy from 1931-46, a 16-year span. Gundy has been at OSU for 10.
Gundy might not be able to go another six years as OSU’s coach. And OSU might not be able to go that long with his ego.