Michael Ray Gundy (born August 12, 1967) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at Oklahoma State University. Gundy played college football at Oklahoma State, where he played quarterback from 1986 to 1989. He became Oklahoma State's coach on January 3, 2005. In 2007, he received national media attention for his heated criticism of a newspaper article on one of his players.
At Midwest City High School, Gundy played quarterback, and was voted Oklahoma Player of the Year in 1986. His high school football coach was Dick Evans. Gundy was heavily recruited by the Oklahoma Sooners but in the end signed with the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. He became the starting quarterback midway through his freshman year. Gundy would become the all-time leading passer in Oklahoma State and Big 8 Conference history. In four seasons Gundy threw 49 touchdowns and 7,997 yards, including 2,106 yards in 1987 and 2,163 in 1988. He led the Cowboys to bowl wins in the 1987 Sun Bowl and 1988 Holiday Bowl aided by two Hall of Fame running backs: Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders. He also led OSU to two 10-win seasons.
Mike Gundy held the record for most consecutive passes attempted without an interception at the start of a career by a freshman in Division 1 history with 138, until Baylor freshman Robert Griffin III broke it in 2008. Coincidentally, Baylor was playing against Gundy's Oklahoma State team when Griffin surpassed the mark. After the game, Gundy was able to personally congratulate Griffin on the accomplishment.
When Gundy graduated, he joined Pat Jones' staff as an assistant coach. He was wide receiver coach in 1990, quarterback coach from 1991–1993 and offensive coordinator from 1994–1995.
Gundy was quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator for Baylor during the 1996 season. He was on staff with Larry Fedora at Baylor and would rekindle that relationship when he became head coach at Oklahoma State, bringing Fedora on as his offensive coordinator. After the 1996 season, Gundy moved again, this time to Maryland where he was wide receiver coach and passing game coordinator from 1997–2000 for the Terps.
In 2001, the Oklahoma State University head football coach job became vacant when Bob Simmons resigned and a search produced Les Miles and Mike Gundy as the finalists. Miles was hired as head coach and Gundy was brought aboard as offensive coordinator. The team would go on to three straight bowl games in Miles' last three years as head coach. When Miles left in 2004 to take the LSU job, Gundy was named immediately as Miles' successor and the 22nd head coach at Oklahoma State. Gundy is one of three head football coaches at Oklahoma State to have played for Oklahoma State, along with Jim Lookabaugh and Floyd Gass.
Gundy's first season saw the expulsion of eleven players from the team and the Cowboys struggled to a 4–7 record winning only one Big 12 conference game.
In his second season, the Cowboy offense began to click and the Cowboys would finish 7–6 including a victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Independence Bowl.
In 2007, the Cowboys again posted a 6–6 regular season record and a bowl win over the Indiana Hoosiers in the Insight Bowl. After their second straight bowl appearance, Gundy was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2013 season. Since 2008, Gundy has led the Cowboys to 59 wins, almost 10 wins per season on average. Many people would consider this to be the most successful period in Oklahoma State football history. He has also led the Pokes to twelve-straight bowl seasons, another Cowboy record.
2007 dispute with the media
On September 22, 2007, Gundy made comments that became the subject of a nationwide media controversy and generated a viral video. Following his team's victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Gundy criticized an article that was critical of one of his players including the now famous line "Come after me! I'm a man! I'm forty!"
Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman wrote the original article discussing Bobby Reid, the former starting quarterback, and guesses as to why he might have been demoted to second-string. The OSU coaching staff publicly supported Reid earlier in the year. Mike Gundy has related that he does not mind criticizing college athletes' on-field performance but does not appreciate critiquing college athletes otherwise. The Oklahoman sports editor, Mike Sherman, also stood by the story. Mike Griffith, president of the Football Writers Association of America, called Gundy's behavior "completely inappropriate." CBS Sportsline's Dennis Dodd went further saying, "Mike Gundy needs to be reprimanded, definitely suspended, probably fined and maybe fired." OSU athletic director Mike Holder stood behind Gundy, saying that "nothing is more important to us than our student-athletes." Gundy would later state that the incident was a blessing in disguise, as the image of his strident defense of one of his players had a lasting positive effect on recruiting.
In 2008, Gundy led the Oklahoma State Cowboys to their best season in 20 years. They were ranked in the top 15 for most of the season. The season ended with an appearance in the Holiday Bowl, where they lost to Oregon. Gundy was rewarded with a new seven-year contract worth $15.7 million. The contract, which extended through the 2015 season, went into effect on January 1, 2009.
Thus far the high-water mark for Gundy, the Cowboys won the Big 12 championship, the program's first conference championship since 1976 (when they tied as co-champions) and first outright conference championship since 1948. The team featured two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden, both first-round draft picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, as well as a defense that led the FBS in turnover margin
The team also appeared in the program's only BCS game, defeating Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal 41–38 in overtime at the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.
On September 24, Gundy's Cowboys survived a fourth-quarter rally by Texas A&M to win 30–29. It was Gundy's 63rd win as head coach of the Cowboys, vaulting him past Jones to become the winningest coach in school history.
He has since led Oklahoma State to 10 wins in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, including an appearance in the 2016 Sugar Bowl–the third major-bowl appearance in school history. Gundy has had a hand in eight of Oklahoma State's nine 10-win seasons–two as a player, six as head coach.
After the 2017 season, the Cowboys are 2–11 vs. the Oklahoma Sooners under Gundy as head coach. Gundy has been associated with the series 28 times as a player or a coach.
Allegations of misconduct
In September 2013, Sports Illustrated published a series of articles as part of an investigation beginning with Les Miles' tenure as head coach at Oklahoma State from 2001 and continuing through Gundy's tenure as head coach in 2011. The allegations concerning Gundy included involvement in a bonus system for players along with direct payments and no-show or sham jobs involving boosters, continuing diminished academic standards including players playing who were otherwise academically ineligible such as having players' school work done by so-called tutors and other school personnel, tolerating widespread drug abuse among the players by continuing a sham drug counseling program and selective drug enforcement, and also purportedly like Miles, personally interviewing hostess candidates for the Orange Pride hostess program and facilitating some hostesses having sex with prospective recruits. In response to the allegations, Gundy stated: "I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here, both on and off the field. Our goal has always been to take young people from where their parents have gotten them and to make them better over a four- or five-year period. We’re very proud of that in many ways. So, until further time—and obviously the university will make that decision—there’s not any comment that we would have on the Sports Illustrated article." Les Miles generally denied any wrongdoing during his time as head coach at OSU. Following the SI series Oklahoma State conducted an intensive review of practices policies led by Charles Smrt. There were no findings of misconduct of any significance found. One of the authors of the report, Thayer Evans made news for getting caught in a sting Operation at Hobie Point where numerous cases of outraging public decency had occurred. Many current and former players, professors, and supporters have made statements refuting the SI articles.
Gundy and his wife, Kristen, have three children, Gavin, Gunnar and Gage. His brother, Cale Gundy, was a starting quarterback at Oklahoma in the 1990s and is currently OU's Assistant Head Coach, Director of Recruiting and Inside Receivers Coach. Gundy has also accrued fame for his "million-dollar mullet."
Head coaching record
|Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 Conference) (2005–present)|
|2005||Oklahoma State||4–7||1–7||6th (South)|
|2006||Oklahoma State||7–6||3–5||T–5th (South)||W Independence|
|2007||Oklahoma State||7–6||4–4||T–3rd (South)||W Insight|
|2008||Oklahoma State||9–4||5–3||4th (South)||L Holiday||18||16|
|2009||Oklahoma State||9–4||6–2||2nd (South)||L Cotton||25|
|2010||Oklahoma State||11–2||6–2||T–1st (South)||W Alamo||10||13|
|2011||Oklahoma State||12–1||8–1||1st||W Fiesta†||3||3|
|2012||Oklahoma State||8–5||5–4||T–3rd||W Heart of Dallas|
|2013||Oklahoma State||10–3||7–2||T–2nd||L Cotton||17||17|
|2014||Oklahoma State||7–6||4–5||7th||W Cactus|
|2015||Oklahoma State||10–3||7–2||T–2nd||L Sugar†||19||20|
|2016||Oklahoma State||10–3||7–2||T–2nd||W Alamo||11||11|
|2017||Oklahoma State||10–3||6–3||3rd||W Camping World||14||14|
|2018||Oklahoma State||7–6||3–6||T–7th||W Liberty|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Many current NCAA head coaches and assistants trace their careers back to Gundy's coaching tree. Gundy, in turn, can trace his career back to the coaching tree of College Football Hall of Fame members Johnny Majors and Bo Schembechler through Miles.
Assistant coaches under Mike Gundy who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:
- Tim Beckman: Toledo (2009–2011), Illinois (2012–2014)
- Larry Fedora: Southern Miss (2008–2011), North Carolina (2012–2018)
- Dana Holgorsen: West Virginia (2011–2018), Houston (2019–present)
- Todd Monken: Southern Miss (2013–2015)
- Walt Bell: Massachusetts (2019–present)
- "OSU Biography – Mike Gundy". OKState.com. Oklahoma State University. Archived from the original on January 19, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "1988 Holiday Bowl article". holidaybowl.com. Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- "Sun Bowl recaps". elpasotimes.com. El Paso Times. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- "Mike Gundy - Staff Directory - Oklahoma State University" (Press release). Okstate.com. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "Mike Gundy Fired up over Article". ESPN.com. September 22, 2007. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- Forde, Pat (September 22, 2007). "September sizzles with shockers, coaching controversies". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- "Oklahoma State Football Coach Mike Gundy Upset". YouTube.com. Oklahoma City: KOCO-TV. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- NewsOK (September 24, 2007). "Jenni Carlson responds to Mike Gundy" – via YouTube.
- Horning, Clay (September 24, 2007). "Now we know what stirs Pokes coach". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- Trammel, Berry (September 24, 2007). "Other Voices: Gundy was out of bounds with rant". SeattlePi.com. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- Dodd, Dennis (September 23, 2007). "After Gundy goes off, maybe next move should be out". CBSSportsline.com. Columbia Broadcasting Service. Archived from the original on May 24, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- Cohen, Andrea and John Helsley (September 24, 2007). "THE COACH: Gundy only wishes he'd said more and that he'd been better prepared". NewsOK.com. The Oklahoman. Retrieved September 25, 2007. (paywall)
- "Mike Gundy on Oklahoma State's BCS chances, aftermath of famous press room tirade - DanPatrick.com". www.danpatrick.com.
- "Gundy given new deal".
- "2018 Oklahoma State Football Guide" (PDF). okstate.com. September 5, 2018. p. 180, 181, and 183. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "NFL.com Draft 2012 - NFL Draft History: Full Draft Year". NFL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "2011 Bowl Subdivision (FBS) National Team Report Turnover Margin". web1.ncaa.org. January 14, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "Stanford vs. Oklahoma State - Game Summary - January 2, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com. January 2, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- Writer, BILL HAISTEN World Sports. "Bedlam 2014: Oklahoma State rallies to beat Oklahoma in overtime".
- "Special Report on Oklahoma State Football: The Overview". Sports Illustrated. September 10, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- Brian Leigh (September 10, 2013). "Will Sports Illustrated Expose Be the Downfall for Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy?". bleacher report. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "OSU Repoonse to Sports Illustrated Series". September 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Shinn, John (September 25, 2007). "Gundy on Gundy". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
- News, A. B. C. (July 19, 2017). "Million-dollar mullet: Mike Gundy credits hair with upping OK State's marketing value". ABC News. Retrieved January 16, 2018.