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In Defense Of Mike Holder

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Increasingly Under Fire....He's Still Right

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Excuse me while I step out on this ledge by my self. Mike Holder is still the greatest athletic director Oklahoma State has ever had. It’s not even close. Travis Ford, Gift of a Lifetime or Mike McGraw be uhhh darned….darned...it’s a kid friendly blog and I think McGraw works at Baylor now.


Look, we’re all mad about Travis Ford. He and his henchmen think 6th over 8th deserves praise; he recruits more players who leave early than graduate and comes off as a used car salesman. I get it. We’re all mad about his stupid contract. No one more than me. On a personal note, I know for a fact he cares less about the "little" people in the basketball program than the Suttons did. Heck I distrust and dislike the guy so much I filed a freedom of Information act request for his contract. Then I  sent it to a lawyer so I could have an expert talk about it so your opinion would be influenced.


That doesn’t change my opinion of Mike Holder though. So much of what we’re evaluating now depends on the benefit of hindsight. Is this contract terrible for Oklahoma State? YES. At the time he offered Ford an extension was it awful? Nope. It was genius. Lets look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves shall we? We need to admit a few things.


  1. When Ford was signed this job was in turmoil- Holder deserves credit for swallowing all the knives sent his way over the Sean dismissal. MANY people assumed it was a vendetta of some sort and it seems to have been for Sean’s own good.


  1. We won a tournament game for the first time in a few years- attendance was falling, we didn't make the tourney for three straight years and we thought we had a good young coach capable of doing great things. Look what he did in year one! Locking that guy up for a decade means we’re bound for success.


  1. As an athletic department we need to take bigger swings than some of you want to admit right now. We need to hire the long time OSU assistant football coach who never succeeded anywhere else to lead us, we need to give ten year contracts to a basketball coach, or let alums with no head coaching experience coach wrestling and baseball. We need to solicit the biggest donation in college sports history at the time or take 20 years to build a golf course. We need to TRY to hit homeruns. We spent 100 years bunting...Lets keep trying something different. It worked for football.


I love us dearly and treasure my time in Stillwater. Pistol Pete is tattooed on my back so I     always carry my pride with me. However, we’re the less popular school in a small state trying to punch upwards at the likes of Kansas OU, Texas etc. We can’t be a conventional athletic department. Playing this NCAA game like the OU’s and UT’s of the world won’t work.


I for one, support our athletic directors big swings. He’s absolutely going to strike out sometimes like he did with Ford. Other times, he gets Josh Holliday and Rob Walton and gets new Tennis, Soccer, Football, basketball facilities built. He also dang near got us into a super conference if you remember realignment. Despite my personal feelings today, I fight hard all the time not to succumb to this. I hope you won’t either.