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‘This is what I am’

STILLWATER, Okla. — At one level, Mike Gundy thought he in all probability would not end his teaching profession at Oklahoma State. However on Tuesday, he mentioned he’ll be at his alma mater so long as they’ll have him.

“No, I would not have thought I might nonetheless be right here, however I do now,” Gundy instructed ESPN. “That is who I’m. That is what I’m. That is the place I belong. That is me. There is no cause for me to go wherever else.”

Gundy, getting into his 15th season as Oklahoma State’s head coach, was closely courted by Tennessee previous to the 2018 season and admits it was the closest he is come to leaving this system. He mentioned it was really his third alternative for the Tennessee job, the primary time coming after Lane Kiffin left the Vols following the 2009 season to go to USC and the second time after they fired Derek Dooley following the 2012 season.

“I’ve had that (Tennessee) job supplied three completely different instances,” mentioned Gundy, who turned 52 on Monday. “It is ironic that it is all the time been Tennessee. I suppose it will get to some extent the place you say, ‘Is it time for me to make a change? I am 50-something years previous. Is it time for me to go do issues in another way?’ Generally in your life, you assume that means.

“Tennessee put collectively an unbelievable package deal, and it is onerous to inform anyone no when that occurs. However I made the appropriate resolution.”

Following the courtship by Tennessee, Gundy obtained a $625,000 one-time improve from Oklahoma State to a five-year rollover contract he signed in 2017 that was set as much as improve yearly by $125,000 and run by the 2023 season. He’ll make $5.125 million in 2019.

Amongst Energy 5 head coaches, solely Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and TCU’s Gary Patterson have been at their faculties longer. Gundy can also be one in every of solely 4 present Energy 5 coaches, together with Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, with a successful file over the past three seasons in opposition to groups ranked within the closing Related Press Prime 25 ballot. The opposite two are Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.

Oklahoma State completed 7-6 final season, however since 2010, the Cowboys have had six seasons with no less than 10 wins, together with an outright Massive 12 championship in 2011.

There was a time when that 2011 season tormented Gundy, particularly with Oklahoma State being handed up by Alabama within the closing BCS standings. The Crimson Tide went on to play LSU in a rematch after shedding the regular-season contest and captured the nationwide championship.

“We’d have performed LSU and received,” Gundy mentioned. “They have been an overload-the-box, man-to-man workforce on protection, and you would not play our workforce in man that 12 months. We have been too good. That also bothers me, that we did not get a shot. And if the system was arrange like it’s now, we’d have been within the playoff. I suppose these issues do not drive me as a lot. I really like for our children to have success, do not get me incorrect. However I do not dwell on it like I used to.”

As a lot as something, Gundy mentioned he enjoys dwelling within the state of Oklahoma, whether or not it is hog looking along with his three sons or visiting along with his dad and mom at their residence within the Oklahoma Metropolis space. And whereas he understands that various coaches over time have backed themselves right into a nook by saying that there have been no new teaching horizons for them, he genuinely feels that means now.

“I believed sooner or later if the Dallas Cowboys referred to as and wished me to teach that it might be onerous not to do this,” mentioned Gundy, who performed quarterback at Oklahoma State. “However as I watch what occurs after I examine that degree, it does not do a lot for me. That is actually who I’m, right here at Oklahoma State. We take good younger males. We’ve a very good tradition. We’ve enjoyable.

“Now, talent-wise, are we going to have Prime 25 groups yearly from a pure expertise perspective? In all probability not, however we will nonetheless win loads of video games and we have now received loads of video games.”

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Arihant Chopra
Arihant Chopra has been working in the Sports industry. He currently contributes for Trevino by writing about sports content. He started his career with Trevino to get started as a journalist.

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