Mike Holder

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Oklahoma State AD regrets public comments about Mike Gundy’s recruiting


Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder says he has some regrets over comments he previously made regarding Mike Gundy and the way the football coach manages the recruiting.

Holder previously drew some negative attention to himself when he said during a podcast interview he would try recruiting differently to have Oklahoma State finish higher in the recruiting rankings. This drew an immediate response from Gundy as well as others in the Oklahoma State community. Of course, now that it is clear Holder and Gundy will have no choice but to put aside any differences for the best of the university and program, Holder has gone on record to suggest his message was not delivered as well as he probably hoped to relay it.

“What I should have been doing is encouraging me, as the athletic director, to do a better job of getting the message out that this is a great place to get an education and further your dreams as an athlete, not just in football but across the spectrum of every sport that we offer here,” Holder said in a report published by The Tulsa World. “And challenge myself to do a better job of that. That’s what I regret.”

An AD making any comments coming across like a knock on the football coach is going to draw some reaction, and this seems to be especially true during what is otherwise a fairly slow time in the college football news cycle. Holder recognized that playing a bit of a factor.

“I guess that’s the nature of the world we live in today, and I need to be aware of that,” Holder added.

Both Holder and Gundy are under contract at Oklahoma State until 2021. Here’s hoping this is the end of this little bit of offseason drama in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State AD wants to schedule Oregon and UNC


Oklahoma State athletics director Mike Holder took note of the way the College Football Playoff selection committee seemed to punish Big 12 champion Baylor for its non-conference scheduling this fall. He wants to make sure that does not affect his Cowboys program in the future, and he is already talking about the possibility of scheduling future games with Oregon.

“I’ve never seen a game in Autzen (Stadium),” Holder said in an interview with The Oklahoman. “I’d love to see that. There’s a lot of those opportunities out there. Need to see some places that are different, rather than Austin, or Norman, or Manhattan, Kansas.”

Holder’s overall point is the entire Big 12 has to schedule tougher non-conference competition. More importantly, the Big 12 needs to win games against other power conference opponents on the schedule. This year the Big 12 failed to score a signature victory. the biggest win in non-conference play may have been TCU’s victory at home against Minnesota. While it may be tough for Holder to ensure Oklahoma State (who opened the season against Florida State) to improve on the non-conference slate in 2015, he knows it will be important for the Big 12 to step things up as a whole in the future.

Holder and his head coach, Mike Gundy, do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to non-conference scheduling.

“My football coach doesn’t want to play anybody any good, definitely, but jiminy Christmas, we looked pretty good against Florida State,” Holder said. “Until we beat OU, that was the highlight of our season.”

It seems everybody would love to take a crack at Oregon, but Holder has a wider scope as well.

“I’d really love to play North Carolina home and home,” Holder mentioned. “Find somebody from the Big Ten or Pac-12 to play us. Maybe even the SEC.”

The Big 12 plays nine conference games and does not currently require its members to schedule another power conference opponent the way the ACC and SEC will be regulating. The lack of a conference championship game may hurt a Big 12 champion in the playoff picture, as seemed to be the case this season, but it is far too early to suggest it is a make-or-break factor. One thing that is somewhat clear is the strength of a team’s non-conference schedule is a factor.