In his first year as Oklahoma State's football coach in 2005, Mike Gundy wore his stress on his sleeve as the Cowboys struggled to a 4-7 finish that featured but one Big 12 win.
That was OSU's last losing season, with Gundy treading unchartered waters with a fifth straight bowl appearance and a nod as Big 12 Coach of the Year. Clearly, Gundy has grown comfortable in the job.
â€œThe thing about being a head coach, the head coach is the captain of the ship,â€ said former Cowboys coach and current Fox analyst Pat Jones. â€œEverybody in that building is going to play off the head coach. Every time he walks down the hall or into the training room or the weight room or a staff meeting, basically you're responsible for the morale of the entire building from the support staff to the secretaries and assistant coaches and the players.
â€œAnd that wears on people. But Mike has handled it well.â€
Maybe Marshall Moses was channeling ghosts of the The Palestra past with his big day at the grand old basketball arena: 30 points and 18 rebounds in OSU's 92-87 win over La Salle.
â€œThis is a historical building,â€ Moses said. â€œI know the history. Wilt (Chamberlain) played here and Earl the Pearl (Monroe), Kobe Bryant. Just to be on the floor where those guys played is an honor.â€
Moses surely enjoyed the experience, and the win, but knew it couldn't linger, with a trip to face Tulsa in the BOK center up next on Wednesday. The Cowboys suffered an embarrassing loss to the Golden Hurricane a year ago, 86-65.
â€œIt's a good road win,â€ Moses said. â€œNow we've got to forget about it and prepare for another tough team on Wednesday that gave us a pretty good whipping last year.â€
LEARNING ON THE FLY
After a comfortable three-game home stand to start the season, the Cowboys have joined the jet set, playing in California and Pennsylvania, giving coach Travis Ford a better stage to evaluate his team.
â€œWe've been from one coast to the other and we've traveled a lot of miles,â€ Ford said. â€œWe still have a long way to go. We're still making a lot of mistakes.
â€œBut I'd rather be 7-1 and continue to learn.â€