The Oklahoman caught up with Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder last week when the AD spoke to the Edmond Rotary Club.
Now that the 2008-09 season is in the rearview mirror, is there a highlight and a lowlight as you look back?
It’s easy to point to the lowlight. Losing all that money. This time last year, or maybe a week earlier, we had the money to do about everything we wanted with our facilities. Then in a period of about two months we lost about $280 million. I guess the good news is you had that money to lose. The bad news is, how could you lose $280 million? So we’ve had to reevaluate our time frame of when we’re going to build all the athletic village. That was the lowpoint. There are lots of high points. Football had a good season, basketball. We had a great track season with German Fernandez, the greatest distance runner since Jim Ryun. A lot of great things happened at OSU, not just for athletics but for the whole university.
→What’s the latest on the west end zone?
This weekend we have a final walkthrough for the coaches’ level. If we sign off on it, the coaches will move in Monday (July 13). They’ll have two or three days to get moved in and then they’ll be hard at work on the fall football season.
The last thing to be finished will be the suites on the club level, and they’ll be finished by mid-August in plenty of time for the home opener against Georgia on Sept. 5.
→Speaking of the home opener, let’s talk a little bit about the football team. OSU is getting a ton of attention nationally. What are you expecting this season?
I’m expecting a great season. Nine wins last year. Probably the biggest non-conference game in the history of OSU football against Georgia. That game’s gonna set the tone, I think, for the rest of the football season. If we can pull out a win there, I think anything’s possible. I think we could contend for a conference championship if we didn’t win that game, but it opens up a whole new spectrum of opportunities if we can win that game.
→With the football program moving, what will you do with their old offices?
Right now our coaches are spread out, with golf coaches out at the golf course, baseball coaches out at baseball. I’d like to move them back into the arena so everyone can interact on a daily basis. We don’t know exactly when and where everyone will be moving.
→Where are you at with new contracts for your football and basketball coaches?
Mike Gundy should be signing that contract any day. I think most of the issues have been worked out. The principal issues were agreed upon back in December. It always seems to take longer than it should.
→What about Travis Ford? Are you renegotiating his contract?
We’ve talked a little bit. Nothing definitive yet that we can talk about publicly.
→The Oklahoma State men’s golf team fell early in the NCAA Tournament under the new match play format. Do you think that’s the fairest format?
Do I think match play is the fairest way? I’d say no.