The best college football coaches are always learning and adjusting over time rather than stick to their guns no matter what. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy had the Cowboys humming along as a typical 10-win program until hitting a speed bump last season. Now, after winning just seven games last season, Gundy is feeling as energized as ever going into a new season, if not more.
In an interview with The Oklahoman, Gundy made it clear he was inspired to get going in 2019 after seeing his program take a few more lumps than they were accustomed the last few years.
“It energized me, because I failed to get our team to play at the highest level last year,” Gundy said to Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. “We were a very undisciplined football team, and we were not a very tough football team. And those two things fall on the head coach.”
Oklahoma State was ninth in the Big 12 with 70.5 penalty yards per game, with an average of 6.8 penalties called against them per game, which is more in the middle of the Big 12. In Oklahoma State’s case, it wasn’t so much the number of penalties received per game, but the yardage tacked on to those penalties. In 2017, Oklahoma State had the second-fewest penalty yards per game assessed to them in the Big 12, and in 2016 they led the Big 12 with the fewest penalty yards per game.
“So when I see mistakes that can be corrected and should be corrected, and when I go back and see the reasons for those mistakes were me, the head coach, it energizes me to come up with a solution, put a plan in place, solve the problem and make it better,” Gundy said. “Moreso than even an 11 or 12-win season, just for me.”
Gundy is about to embark on his 15th season as the head coach in Stillwater. The last time Oklahoma State recorded a seven-win season, the Cowboys ripped off three consecutive 10-win seasons.
Oklahoma State wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn has a new title in Stillwater. On Monday, Oklahoma State announced Dunn has been awarded the title of associate head coach while retaining his role as receivers coach for the Cowboys.
“Kasey has positioned himself to be a head coach in the near future,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said in a released statement. “His discipline and dedication to OSU football has benefitted our program in a huge way. He has a track record of player success that speaks for itself.”
“I’m thankful for this opportunity and honored to work closer with Coach Gundy to learn more about the things that go into being a head coach,” Dunn said.
Dunn has been on the staff since 2011 and has been instrumental in developing some talented wide receivers over the years. That list of players includes Biletnikoff Award winners James Washington and Justin Blackmon and finalist Tylan Wallace. Oklahoma State’s wide receiver development has been instrumental in the success of a high-powered offense over the course of Gundy’s tenure, and Dunn deserves some of the credit for that.
Being elevated to associate head coach will bring a few extra responsibilities for Dunn as he assists Gundy in running the program, although his primary responsibility will remain with the wide receivers moving forward.
It has been a busy couple of days for Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. After losing one offensive line coach to Texas A&M, Gundy has already announced a replacement has been named. A day after reports surfaced saying Texas A&M had hired away Josh Henson to fill their own vacancy at the offensive line coach position in College Station, Gundy has announced the hiring of Charlie Dickey, previously of Kansas State.
And this wasn’t the first time Gundy tried hiring Dickey. The head coach of the Cowboys said he was unable to hire Dickey before because the offensive line coach was dedicated to his boss at Kansas State, Bill Snyder.
Making sure to point out the loyalty Dickey had to his former boss is certainly not just a throwaway line. It can be used to suggest Dickey will be as committed as they come to the Oklahoma State program, which is a nice sales pitch on the recruiting trail.
Like Gundy did at Oklahoma State, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher wasted little time in filling a vacancy at the offensive line coach position on his staff this week. The Aggies lost Jim Turner to a job in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. By Friday, reports of A&M hiring Henson were already filed. And now, the next domino in the assistant coaching carousel fell in Stillwater.
If you spent your New Years Eve sitting through the defensive slugfests that were the Sun Bowl and Redbox Bowl, then you deserved to reward yourself for your devotion to the sport of college football by catching the second half of the Autozone Liberty Bowl. Oklahoma State (7-6) avoided a complete meltdown in the fourth quarter to drop No. 23 Missouri (8-5) by a score of 38-33.
Oklahoma State nearly coughed up a bowl win in the fourth quarter by having one of the worst showings in the fourth quarter seen this bowl season. It started with Missouri quarterback Drew Lock uncorking an 86-yard touchdown pass to Johnathan Johnston on the first play from scrimmage after Cam Hilton picked off a pass from Cowboys quarterback Taylor Cornelius in the red zone. That cut a 16-point deficit to a nine-point game after kicking an extra point. Larry Rountree III brought Missouri to within two points with a 55-yard touchdown run on a drive that was aided by a pair of personal foul penalties called on Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State later made the odd decision to try running a fake punt that was not catching the Missouri special teams unit off guard for a turnover on downs, although the football gods refused to punish the Cowboys by having a Missouri field goal attempt to give the Tigers the lead blocked to preserve the two-point lead for Oklahoma State.
The offense was bonkers in the game, especially compared to some of the earlier bowl results in the day. The teams combined for 1,139 offensive yards, with Missouri leading Oklahoma State 637-502. Oklahoma State also lost the turnover battle (2-1) and the time of possession battle, yet they came up with the only defensive play needed in the game with a fourth-down stop of Lock to preserve the win.
Lock had passed for 373 yards with three touchdowns. Cornelius passed for 366 yards and four touchdowns but had two interceptions for Oklahoma State. In the absence of Justice Hill, who sat out of the bowl game to focus on staying healthy for the NFL draft process, Oklahoma State handed the ball off to Chuba Hubbard, who rushed for 145 yards and a score. Missouri’s Rountree topped him with 204 rushing yards.
The win marked the third consecutive season ending with a bowl victory for Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are now 9-4 in bowl games under Gundy since he was named the head coach of the program. Oklahoma State also avoided a losing season for the first time since 2005, Gundy’s first season as head coach in Stillwater.
Although the season ends with a second straight bowl loss, the Tigers took another step forward this season by improving its win total from the previous year. Barry Odom‘s third year on the job continued to show some signs of progress for the program as they move into 2019 looking to getting back to a level where it can be a factor in the SEC East. The Tigers are a good way away from their back-to-back SEC East Division runs under former head coach Gary Pinkel at a time when the rest of the division has and could continue to improve as well, but the offense continues to offer a glimmer of hope in Columbia.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy had a nice throwback look last season with a mullet that took the college football world by storm. Sadly, the party in the back is no more.
As seen in a recent video from Oklahoma State camp, Gundy’s hair is noticeably shorter in the back, although there may still be a foundation for an eventual mullet to make a return as the season progresses.
Here’s hoping Gundy decides to not get a haircut again until the Cowboys lose a game this season. Aside from a possible threat from Boise State in Stillwater early on in the season, there is a chance Oklahoma State could string together a good number of wins heading into November. That would give Gundy plenty of time to let that party animal grow out a little more.
Helmet sticker to Reddit.