It’s been almost four months since Mike Gundy took a spin on the coaching carousel, entertaining interest from Tennessee and Arkansas before deciding to stay at his alma mater, Oklahoma State.
Yet Gundy revealed more details about his thought process of considering — then ultimately turning down — the Volunteers in a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler.
Gundy recalled his family discussing what life could be like in Knoxville. One of his sons Googled schools in the area, and another asked what a Volunteer was.
“At some point, that’s where we thought we were going to go,” Gundy said.
But after sleeping on it and driving to the football offices at OSU the next day, he realized he wanted to stay in Stillwater and called Tennessee to tell the school he couldn’t take the job.
Tennessee also courted Louisville’s Charlie Strong for the position before hiring Cincinnati’s Butch Jones.
Gundy also reiterated that nonconference scheduling was the main reason why he seriously contemplated leaving. Anyone who closely followed the saga — or follows OSU, for that matter — knows that. Gundy simply doesn’t believe that playing Mississippi State and Florida State on a neutral field before going through the nine-game Big 12 slate will put the Cowboys in the best position to win a national championship.
“I felt if what I was saying to recruits wasn’t coming true, then I couldn’t do the job and I needed to go somewhere else,” Gundy said.
But Gundy said he and OSU athletic director Mike Holder have agreed to discuss scheduling in the future. Now, Gundy is preparing for his ninth season at the helm at OSU as the Cowboys go through spring practice.
“I just think we felt like in the long run this was as good an opportunity as any if we could come to some agreement,” Gundy said. “I think we did come to some agreements. We have long-range plans. I just needed to know what the plan was. That way, no matter what it was, I knew going in what it was. I have to feel comfortable with that.”