Mike Gundy talks about how the program has changed since his first year as head coach. Listen to the audio at the link below.
STILLWATER, Okla. – Back in town after taking last week off for spring break, the Oklahoma State football team practiced Monday dressed in shorts and no pads for a two-hour session in warm conditions on the Boone Pickens Stadium turf.
After practice, coach Mike Gundy spoke about what he saw from the team and how the program has changed since he first took over as head coach:
On Monday’s Practice:
“Overall, we had a pretty good practice for the first day back from spring break. Our tempo was good. Players were mentally into practice. We still have a long way to go with young players that need to learn to do all of the little things correctly – taking care of the football, forcing turnovers, all those things that are critical in winning football games.”
On the differences between spring practice now versus in his first year as a head coach:
“We can run two units full speed in team period and we’re pretty successful. We can actually run some threes in there and still run plays. When we first started, we had no chance to run threes. We could barely run twos, so we’ve improved in our depth and our players understand who we are and our tempo. That’s made us a better football team.”
On how the success of the last several years manifests itself during this year’s spring camp:
“Winning is contagious and our players expect to win. They know they should prepare and perform at a high level and expect to win every game. I think we have that instilled in our football team. I don’t think there’s any question that they expect to play very well in the first game, and I’m not so sure we always had that when we first started.”
On the importance of character when the Oklahoma State coaches evaluate recruits:
“We want guys that can make plays. We want guys who want to graduate from college, but they also have to have character. If we’re going to have to give in any of those three areas, it isn’t going to be in character. Guys have to have the mental makeup that they want to do the right thing and they care about the team before we look at their athleticism.”