Happy Birthday Coach! In honor of the momentous occasion, here’s 50 reasons why we love you!
1. The Mullet
Bringing back the 80s and looking darn good while doing it!
This isn’t the first time he’s sported the style though.
Look at that Arkansas Waterfall! It rivals Billy Ray Cyrus.
2. The Rant.
By now we all know about the "I’m a man! I’m 40!" rant.
To most people this is internet gold. Honestly if you mention Oklahoma State this is what comes to most people’s minds. But to Oklahoma State fans, this makes them proud to have this man as a coach. A man who will stand behind his players and won’t take any crap.
Back when this first happened, there were some that thought Gundy was way out of line and was in danger of committing career suicide. Little did they know it would turn into a powerful recruitment tool and is still enjoyed by many.
Now he’s a real man! He’s 50!
3. His love for Oklahoma State.
Gundy isn’t scared of showing how much he cares for his alma mater.
4. His rattlesnake huntin’ self cares not what you think.
Look at him fearlessly wrapping the rattlesnake around his neck. We love that Gundy is himself no matter what.
4. He loves his kids.
It’s hard balancing coaching a D1 Power 5 football team and raising a family, but Gundy does it well. Let his oldest son Gavin explain:
“He leaves a game agenda that each [Oklahoma State] player gets before game days for me and my brothers on the counter every week so we know where he's at.”
“He leaves or cancels a practice if we have a school event or a sports game.”
“The way he treats my mother and my two little brothers at home and puts family before money and fame.”
“I think the coolest thing is how much he wants his kids to succeed in whatever we enjoy in life. He always told us growing up that ‘I want you to be successful in whatever it is that makes you boys happy as long as you put 110 percent heart into it.’”
9. He loves dogs.
Here’s more from Gavin on that:
“Most people don't know but he is a huge animal lover - especially our dogs. He turns into a little kid around them and loves all of them like kids.”
You know who else likes cool dogs? Zach Sinor. #H29smanSZN
10. He loves Stillwater.
11. He’s been loyal and true through it all.
Gundy has been talked to for a lot of other jobs, but has remained here for about 12 years now.
12. He has a great sense of humor.
The young Gundy was a no-nonsense, nose to the grindstone, all-work and no-play kind of coach. Now, as the mullet flows gracefully down his neck, you can see the humor flowing forth almost effortlessly. Take his Big 12 Media Days interview for example.
13. He loves philanthropy.
From Coaches vs. Cancer to children’s hospitals visits, he always steps in to help those in need. This is from the 2015 Sugar Bowl.
14. He understands there’s more to life than football, and sometimes football is not the most important thing happening on Saturdays.
15. He’s an OSU guy through and through.
He’s one of three OSU coaches that attended OSU, played on the team, then came back to coach. He’s joined by Wrestling HC John Smith and Baseball HC Josh Holliday.
16. He’s interview gold.
17. He runs a clean, honest program with high standards.
He runs things the right way. No program has been as thoroughly investigated and come out cleaner. That's what gives me pride in the program— ChristopherSnodgress (@csnodgress) August 9, 2017
Christopher made the good point that this program has been investigated before but always come out on top. Sports Illustrated ran the ultimate hit piece, and Gundy took it all in stride, knowing the truth would come out. He also makes his team follow high standards. Fail to meet those standards and pay the price. Take the dismissal of Tyreek Hill from the program for example.
18. The Gundy:
Favorite post game ritual ever.
19. He’s never too serious:
Especially this offseason, Gundy has made it fun to be an Oklahoma State fan. Dia McGowen put it perfectly.
That he doesn't take himself too seriously. He makes being a fan so fun--not just because of wins but because of the enjoyable atmosphere.— Dia McGowen (@thesongbird72) August 8, 2017
Mike Gundy seems like the kind of guy you can sit down and have a beer with. Nick Saban of Alabama seems like the kind of guy who would become Pope just so he could excommunicate you because you sneezed during one of his meetings five years ago.
20. The wins:
He’s gotten to 11 straight bowl games and won 104 games since becoming Oklahoma State’s head coach. Hard to not love that.
22. The Cowboy Culture
He’s created a culture here at Oklahoma State that’s unlike anything else. Ask the recruits. They all fall in love with the culture he has created
A bunch of former Cowboys chipped in their favorite things about Gundy that made playing in Stillwater fun, giving us a “behind the scenes” look at the man with the mullet.
“One of my favorite things that he had us do as a team after games is that, win or lose, we would pray after the game together as a team, which was really cool.”
“He’s a player’s coach. He's a great coach and a coach who loves to have fun, but also loves to win and wants his players to be respectful in and out of the facility. He doesn't ask much from players but to give it your all and do the right thing.”
“I love the personality he had with his players. He loves to tells jokes. He would come up [and tell you a joke] when he knew practice was getting hard. He would get up on the stage before he gave his speech and he would tell us a story about his family or something funny that he had heard.”
26. He produces NFL talent.
Examples: Dez Bryant, Dan Bailey, Emanuel Ogbah, Vincent Taylor, Jordan Sterns, Ashton Lampkin, Lane Taylor...the list goes on and on.
27. He’s good with the ‘crootin.
28. He’s a people’s coach that relates to his fans.
Gundy is a native Oklahoman. He was quaterback at Oklahoma State, he knows this fanbase and how to interact with them.
29. The singlet.
This man is a national treasure.
30. He cares about students.
He’s been known to walk around campus and give out scantrons during finals week. He also has helped with finals week pancake nights.
31. His loves for his players doesn’t stop once their time at Oklahoma State is over.
32. He supports the troops.
He goes out of his way to shake hands with the troops on gamedays as well.
33. He goes to bat for his coaches.
One of the main things that reportedly held up Gundy’s contract extension signing was the fact he wanted his assistant coaches to be paid more. They were at the bottom of the Big 12, but with Gundy’s newest contract, his coaches also got raises.
34. He’s made Oklahoma State a respected program.
Look at all the preseason hype the Cowboys are getting this season. Every year there is more hype and more attention from the national media, as Gundy has taken the program straight to the upper echelon of college football.
35. He gets the fans involved.
From going out to the Cowboy Caravans to his Chick-Fil-A radio show, Gundy is involved with this fanbase.
36. He’s always one of the first to congratulate other OSU teams when they do something good.
37. He’s a great leader.
38. He knows how to run a successful football program.
Look at his record since he took over the program. His first three years he had seven or fewer wins. Since that point, he has only had less than 10 wins three times. That’s success and consistency at its finest.
39. He knows when he’s wrong and isn’t afraid to admit it.
(Video courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics)
40. He puts 110 percent into coaching.
From practices to game days, Gundy’s dedicated to making his team as successful as it can be. He also makes sure not to overdo it, which is vital in long-term health of your team.
41. HE’S A SAVAGE:
Mike Gundy said he had Oklahoma State bowl rings engraved 11-2, counting loss vs. Central Michigan instead as a win https://t.co/fOWymQ6D2d— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) April 20, 2017
42. He’s respected across the country.
People know who Gundy is even without OSU gear on. Pistols Firing had a great piece from Big 12 Media Days talking about how respected Mike Gundy is across the country. My favorite quote from one of Gundy’s former coaches, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.
“He acts a hell of a lot older than 50,” Holgorsen said. “I act a lot younger than 45. He might say the opposite. He’s clearly going through a mid-life crisis. I haven’t hit that yet. I’m still acting like I’m 21.
43. He respects his fellow coaches.
He said this of Bill Snyder:
I don’t really talk to other people in this profession very much, and I don’t know that he hangs out a lot, but as I’ve said each year, I have a lot of respect for him.
44. He’s the kind of coach that you'd be proud your son plays for.
45. He doesn't just care about making his guys great football players but great men.
Former QB J.W. Walsh echoed Kelly’s sentiments.
“I love the fact that he truly cares about the players’ future. He does everything he can to prepare the players for life after football.”
46. He doesn’t let school affiliation get in the way of his love for his bother.
Yep there’s a Gundy that played, and now coaches for, that school down south. His brother, Cale, was named the co-offensive coordinator after Lincoln Riley was promoted. Family get-togethers are probably a little awkward.
47. He’s adventurous.
This is from Big 12 Media Day as well. James Washington was talking about future exploits Gundy plans to get into.
Peacocks on the Gundy’s property be warned.
48. He’s invested in the future of football, hosting multiple camps throughout the year.
If Gundy isn’t traveling during the offseason, there’s a good chance he is hosting or at the least visiting a camp. OSU loves to host football camps, and there are some for all ages throughout the Spring and Summer. Just this past week, Oklahoma State hosted its Extreme Camp, which is a fan-favorite.
49. He isn’t afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeves.
You can see it on the sidelines, when Gundy is upset, you know he’s upset. If he gets riled up in Boone Pickens, you can be sure the student sections are cheering him on as he goes to war for his team.
50. He has 50 years worth of wisdom to share.