One-on-One With Mike Gundy

There are just a couple of days left in the summer vacation for the Oklahoma State football coaching staff. The staff will reconvene Friday and will hit a few coaches conventions, host a half-day camp on July 25, and basically get ready for the players to report on Aug, 4. We caught up with Mike Gundy as he was on his way to Edmond for a couple of baseball games involving his middle son, Gunnar.

GP: It's getting close, about time to come back with your staff and get started with the season at hand.
Gundy: You're right Robert. We're two or three days from getting back to work. The coaches have been in and out of the office for the last three or four weeks. We get back in the office on Friday and get back to work full-time in preparation for the preseason camp.

GP: Yes, and when you get back together you will be in new diggs. The moving is going on right now into the new football offices in the west end zone.
Gundy: That's really exciting. The players have been in for several weeks, and the coaches offices, staff rooms, and meeting rooms, that process started today. I went in the office about 6:45 a.m. and they started moving boxes and people started directing traffic about 8:45 a.m., so I left about as quick as I could to get out of there. I'm not the smartest guy in the world but I knew I didn't want to stay and get drafted into moving boxes into the west end zone.

GP: Has this been a really fun summer for you?
Gundy: This is the time of the year that I can get out in the front yard with the boys and play catch, let them hit off the tee, and do some soft toss. In football season I haven't coached my boys a total of two hours just because I'm working all day and when they go to practice and games, unfortunately, I'm working at either practice or we're playing a game. I've only seen my oldest son play maybe three or four games in four years. My middle son started playing last year and I only saw him play twice out of 10 or 12 games. It is really baseball when I have the time to get out and throw the ball around with them and I enjoy baseball. Kristen and I are okay with whatever they want to pursue ... baseball, football, or basketball either way we're really good with it. We just don't want them in the house during the day playing video games or watching T.V.

GP: You are going later this month to ESPN and tour their campus and make guest appearances on almost all of their television and radio shows including SportsCenter, College Football Live, Mike and Mike, etc. Does that invitation show where the OSU program has gone?
Gundy: I'm just the guy that is lucky enough to be in a situation to get to do that. The players have put our program at a different level and because of that you start to receive some attention. It is an honor for me to go up there and not only represent our football team but Oklahoma State University. I'll spend a couple of days up there in Bristol and tape some shows, both television and radio. I think one of them is going on Mike and Mike in the Morning and I'm big fans of theirs, so it will be a great experience.

We are proud of how far we've come, but from this point on we have to stay really focused and continue to work hard and work as a group to build. We had a goal four or five years ago that we wanted to take this program to a different level and stay there consistently and do it the right way. It gets harder from here and this point on. In the last couple of years we've been able to sneak up on some people and I don't think that is going to happen anymore. I think everybody is aware of who we are. That is the fun part of it and we go to work everyday and try to do the best job we can of having our players ready to play every Saturday.

GP: I'm a sucker in that I read all the preseason college football publications and I know you and your staff probably stay away from that stuff. You probably hope the players do too. There is a lot of hype for the Cowboys.
Gundy: I don't read many of those magazines. Sometimes somebody will copy an article and put it on my desk. The information in those preseason magazines is gaining accuracy and becoming more accurate every year. I don't see a lot of it, but I don't see how you can avoid it. I know that our players with the access that they have and all of the sites they can get to with the computers and as savvy as these young players are I don't think there is any question that they read everything that is out there. I think it falls on us as coaches, and it is our responsibility, to make sure that they stay down to earth and understand that it took a lot of hard work to get where they are right now. it is even going to take more to stay there and get better.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: That is part one of our conversation with Gundy. We will have more from the interview with the Cowboy head coach later this week here on GoPokes.com.)

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