One-on-One With Mike Gundy (Part 2)

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was a guest Wednesday morning on Triple Play Sports Radio in Stillwater. The head coach had been on the road for several days recruiting but was back in the office for a day, so it was a good time to look ahead to the bowl game and recruiting, and in the rearview mirror at the Bedlam game and the season. Part two deals with the emotions after this past weekend.

Question: I saw you on Sunday as you were at the Cowboys wrestling match. You looked like it was kind of a therapy for you. You love wrestling but it looked like some self therapy. Am I off base on that?
Gundy: The first thing after the game ... there is nobody that is more hurt and disappointed for our players than me and our coaching staff and our team in themselves because, we said this a million times and there's no reason to repeat it, they work extremely hard and so do the other teams in the country. When you get really close to a championship and you fall short it hurts.

From a head coaching standpoint, or a role in leadership, which is really what I have here right now, I have to evaluate who we are, where we've come from, where we're at and try to make decisions to improve as we have over the last five or six years and continue to move forward. The point that I tried to drive home after the game is that I feel the same way about our team as I did before the game because they've committed themselves to being successful this year.

We live in a society where people only gauge success on wins and losses and that's impossible. You can't perform that way and in the long run you can't operate that way, (because) it will cause more pain and it won't work.

I use the example of it's just like having a child that studies hard for a science test and they may be 8, 9 or 10 years old and if they don't do well you have to look at the work they put into it and say we need to adjust what we are doing and try to make it better but I'm not disappointed in you because you worked hard. If you didn't work hard then you get what you deserve because you didn't put anything into it.

Saturday I went home and played with my kids with basketball and stuff out in the barn. Sunday, I came up and went to work and thought about some things and wrote down some notes about things I will get with the staff later this week before we start practicing and getting ready for the Missouri game.

I had my little one with me, Gage, and he likes to watch wrestling and he found out there was a wrestling match and it was Minnesota the second-ranked team in the country, so we went over there and watched a little wrestling. I sat on a row to myself because he was on a row behind me and three seats over because he was with a couple of his football teammates and they became more important than me at the time.

I enjoy watching wrestling, and John (Smith) and I are good friends and have known each other for a long time. It was a chance for me to watch wrestling and support the Cowboys. It's interesting at that time as I watched the wrestling because my wheels never stop turning. I wake up in the middle of the night and think of several things that we can improve on as a coaching staff and that is really the only thing that you can do. We ask our players to play the next play and get ready for the next game. We, as coaches, if we are not willing to conform and do the same thing we ask our players to do then we shouldn't ask them.

I felt like (in Bedlam) we had the best football team and we got outcoached in that game and sometimes that happens and is it painful? You bet it's painful. But me as the head coach and our coaching staff and anybody in football or in the Oklahoma State athletic department should feel the same way. We've put ourselves in a position now where every loss is painful. It didn't used to be that way. That's not a crutch or excuse, just a fact and it didn't used to be that way.

We ended up in the top 15 in the country, 13th if you look at the BCS and measure it by that and ended up in the Cotton Bowl and I think next year the Cotton Bowl is even involved in the final four (College Football Playoff) so that is the bowl you are in. We are in a great geographical area and our fans, families and players and their families get to be home for Christmas and then we get to play Missouri in a bowl game in a great location where I think the fans will show great support for our players.

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