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Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy agree to new five-year deal

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At least contractually, the reported rift between Oklahoma State’s head football coach and its most prominent booster is a non-issue.

Late Tuesday morning, OSU announced that Mike Gundy has signed a new five-year contract to remain with the program.  The new deal replaces the old one that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

This latest contract, which the school states “provides for annual automatic rollovers,” is still subject to the approval of the university’s Board of Regents.

Gundy will be paid $4.2 million in the first year of the new deal, up from the $3.9 million he pulled in last year.  With Bob Stoops‘ retirement from Oklahoma and Charlie Strong‘s dismissal at Texas, it’s very likely that Gundy, with the new deal, will surpass TCU’s Gary Patterson as the highest-paid head coach in the Big 12.

As part of the annual rollover, Gundy’s salary will increase by $125,000 every year.

“I’m very pleased with the new contract because it reflects our mutual commitment and long-term vision to take our football program to an even higher level in the years to come,” said Gundy in a statement. “I appreciate the support and confidence of President Hargis and Coach Holder in me to continue to lead this program for many years to come.”

A former OSU quarterback, Gundy has been the Cowboys’ head coach since 2005 after spending the previous four seasons as his alma mater’s offensive coordinator.  He’s 104-50 in those dozen seasons, making him the winningest coach in the program’s history.

Eight times in the school’s history has the football team posted double-digit wins in a season; five of those occurred under Gundy, including each of the last two years.  After a 4-7 first year in 2005, the Cowboys have played in 11 straight bowl games.

OSU ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MIKE HOLDER
“Today is a good day for Oklahoma State football. The new contract recognizes Coach Gundy’s success at building and sustaining a premier college football program and reflects our appreciation and our long-term commitment to Coach Gundy. Not only is he one of the best coaches in the country, he also does things the right way.

“His players love playing for him because he is the consummate players’ coach. While I believe his achievements are often overlooked nationally, he’s certainly appreciated by those of us at Oklahoma State. We are excited about the future of our football program under the direction of Mike Gundy.”

OSU PRESIDENT BURNS HARGIS
“Coach Gundy loves his alma mater and is passionate about success both athletically and academically. He is a strong leader and motivator who gets the very best out of players, coaching colleagues and the organization.

“He runs the program the right way, graduates players and creates a positive culture built around responsibility and accountability. I am excited for the future of Oklahoma State football under the leadership of Coach Gundy.”

Oklahoma State the landing spot for son of former Oklahoma LB

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Sometimes, a Power Five player will drop down to the FCS level to continue his career.  In this instance, it’s the other way around.

Mike Coats Jr. took to Twitter Wednesday to announce that not only will be he transferring from Lamar but that he will be moving on to play for Oklahoma State.  As he’s coming in from the FCS Cardinals, the linebacker would be eligible to play for the Cowboys in 2017.

Whether Coats is healthy enough is another matter as he underwent a pair of knee surgeries the last couple of months of last year.

Coming out of high school in Edmond, Okla., Coats didn’t hold any offers from FBS programs.  One of his former high school teammates, Calvin Bundage, is a linebacker for OSU.

Coats’ father, Mike Coats Sr. (pictured, making tackle), played linebacker at Oklahoma in the early nineties.

In wake of Bob Stoops’ retirement, thought of not being part of a team scares Nick Saban

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With the reverberations of Bob Stoops‘ shocking retirement announcement Wednesday still being felt, some attention has turned to just which long-tenured head coach could be next to step away from the profession.

At the moment, there are currently head coaches who have been at the same program for at least the last 10 consecutive years — Rice’s David Bailiff (2007), Air Force’s Troy Calhoun (2007), Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio (2007), Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (1999), Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald (2006), Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (2005), Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo (2007), TCU’s Gary Patterson (2000), Alabama’s Nick Saban (2007), Ohio’s Frank Solich (2005), Middle Tennessee State’s Rick Stockstill (2006) and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (2005).  Of the Power Five coaches in that group, the oldest, as well as most successful, is Saban, who’ll turn 66 in late October this year.

Saban is in the midst of what will be a Hall of Fame career that stretches back 45 years, the past 27 as a head coach.  Given his age and the ever-growing demands of the profession, it’s natural to wonder how long until the winner of five national championships hangs up his coaching whistle.

As for that particular subject, the coach himself doesn’t seem to even want to think about a future that doesn’t include him on the sidelines.

In the full article from Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News, Saban expounded on his coaching future and the “r” word.

“I don’t think that anybody can not have those thoughts,” the coach told the News. “But my thought is that I want to do it as long as I feel like I can do it. I really enjoy being around the players. I really enjoy trying to create value for them and their future whether it’s their personal development, seeing them graduate, seeing them develop as football players and have opportunities in life.”

Saban and Stoops and Stoops’ family — there’s a great story HERE about Saban and one of Stoops’ uncles in a Youngstown bar that was robbed — have been friends for more than four decades. Could Stoops’ abrupt decision to step away from the game have an impact on Saban, who earlier this signed off on a contract extension through the 2024 season? That’s unlikely as it seems that Saban has at least a few more good years left in him.

Then again, before Wednesday, most would’ve said the same for the 56-year-old Stoops.

Marshall lands Oklahoma State WR transfer Obi Obialo

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Nearly a month after leaving Stillwater, Obi Obialo has headed east to continue his collegiate playing career.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Obialo announced that he has decided to enroll at Marshall and play his college football for the Thundering Herd.  That football program, for what it’s worth, has not confirmed the wide receiver’s addition to the roster.

As Obialo was a walk-on at OSU, he’ll be immediately eligible in 2017.

Coming out of his junior season in high school in 2014, Obialo, a three-star prospect out of Texas, held offers from Iowa and San Diego State, and was getting looks from Baylor as well. However, a serious leg injury midway through his senior season in 2015 led to those offers disappearing even as he committed to the Aztecs in December of that year. Obialo opted to become a preferred walk-on with the Cowboys in February of 2016.

As a true freshman, he caught two passes for 11 yards. Despite a touchdown catch in this year’s spring game, the 6-3, 200-pound Obialo was facing an uphill climb making gains on one of the deepest receiving corps in the conference.

VIDEO: Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph makes another jet ski trick-pass video

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Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph really seems to enjoy heading out to the lake at the start of summer and producing trick-pass videos.

The strong-armed signal-caller already produced one such video last year around this time but has apparently upped his game this time around for an impressive sequel. Posted to social media this week, Rudolph is the one launching the pass deep to a receiver who catches the ball while leaping off a jet ski.

Perhaps even cooler is that Rudolph gets his brother Logan, a recent Clemson signee no less, involved in the stunt as well.

The Cowboys have already kicked off a Heisman campaign for the quarterback but this might just be the kind of thing that gets buzz building even more for one of the Big 12’s best players. Rudolph threw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns last season and sports one of the best receiving corps in the country heading into 2017.