Final story time with Wright

One last time, former OU assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright talks any and everything.

Former Oklahoma assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright was known among the media as the best storyteller of all the coaches.

He gave everybody one last glimpse why in a 42-minute sendoff interview with a selected group of media members Tuesday afternoon.

Here’s even more of what he said.

On his relationship with Cale Gundy:

Oh, Cale and I have a great relationship. It’s been fun. I’m a big bicycle rider. I ride bikes for exercise. When I came here, I was the only one that rode a bike. I’d go out every day on my lunch hour and get an hour on my bike. Everybody kind of laughed at me, especially wearing the spandex shorts. Cale was just a young guy at that time. Not that he’s old now, but he was really young then. All the young guys were always making fun of me and making all the catcalls when I’d walk out in my spandex. Well, about four years ago Cale decided to join the bike club. He’s now one of the bicyclers on the staff.

On how much pride he took in being able to coach multiple positions:

It is funny that you mention that. I spoke at a clinic a few years back. I may be one of the few guys that has done that in his career. I started out as a really young coach at Texas A&I. I worked for a guy, a really sharp guy that I still look up to a lot, a guy named Ron Harms. Ron had hired me there. Ron had told me when I was a young coach to not get yourself pigeon-holed into one thing. If you do that, the opportunities for you may be limited. If you only have expertise in one area, then that is the only spot that you are going to get hired at. If the only thing you do is work on getting hired as a defensive backs coach, then you might have the opportunity to go to better place as a running backs coach, but if you don’t know anything about how to coach running backs you aren’t going to get hired to coach running backs. So even at Texas A&I, I was coaching the defensive backs and Ron, who was an offensive guy, wanted me to move over to offense, so I did. I moved over and started coaching running backs and quarterbacks. As my career went a long, I coached at North Texas State and was on offense, went to the University of Texas to coach running backs. Then I had the opportunity to go back to the other side of the ball and coach defensive backs. Then a coaching change happened. I had the opportunity to stay, but I would have go back on the other side of the ball and coach offense again. I ended up coaching wide receivers and we ended up leading the Southwest Conference in receiving that year. All of a sudden I got the reputation that this guy can coach just about anything because I had coached a lot of positions. When I came here I started out as the defensive ends coach. When Mike (Stoops) left and then Bo (Pelini) left and we needed a secondary coach again it all worked out great. To finish with the point, you don’t see that much anymore because a lot of coaches in the college game do try to specialize in one area. My point when I spoke at a clinic a few years ago was learn everything you can about football, offense and defense, because the more you learn multiple positions the more opportunities there are for you. You won’t just be pigeon-holed into he can only coach this one thing. That limits the number of jobs you are available for and that limits the number of schools you may be able to apply at because they may not have that job open. That is kind of why I went that way years ago is because I wanted to learn both sides of it as well as I could.

On if switching it up made the 16 years go by a little faster:

Well, to a certain extent it kind of keeps you fresh because you say ‘Oh, well this year I’m coaching this and it’s kind of a different challenge, a little different player group, a little different player mentality’ or whatever the case may be. It makes it a little more fun, a little more challenging, yeah.

On how and why he got into coaching:

The how and why was that I was raised by a high school football coach. My parents were divorced at a young age, and it’s funny that you asked that because my high school football coach's last name was Wright. He had four sons and we were all about the same age. He ended up kind of being that surrogate father, a father image. I ended up being great friends with all of his sons, which I still am to this day. Of course, I hung out with them, stayed with them, as I said, I played for him. Everybody in Mission thought he probably had five sons. They thought I was one of them even though I really wasn’t one. He still claims me today. I grew up with that ever since I was six or seven years old. Just being around it all of that time, I just knew I was going to be a football coach and there was never any doubt of it. I went to college and I knew I was going to be a football coach and when I got out of college I went right into it.

On if he is curious to know how he is going to handle not coaching next year:

Well I am curious as to how I’ll handle it; that’s a fair question. I probably won’t throw up as much. No, I’m just kidding. I think I’ll do fine. Obviously, I’ll be very interested and I’ll be very supportive of Oklahoma I know that. I’ll be anxious to see them do well. No question. Obviously, I think they will, and I will certainly be pulling for them to do well. All of these relationships here are still very strong with me, player relationships, coaching relationships, so I’ll definitely be pulling for them. I just won’t be out there doing all of the sweating during the week and sweating bullets during the game. I’ll probably be a lot more relaxed.

On if Bob Stoops would be crazy not to consider him for a front office role:

I’ll be sure to tell Bob that he is crazy. I’m kidding. We haven’t even gone down that road. If there is something in the future that I can help with, that I feel like I would have value in, and if he wanted me in that role, I would entertain that, sure. No question. We haven’t even gone down that road, but we’ll see.

On what player would deserve his own chapter in his book:

Oh my gosh. Right off the top of my head and since the season is fresh, Eric Striker. Eric Striker is going to get his own chapter. I can promise you that. Now, there will be others, but just off the top of my head that would be the first one that comes to mind.

On if Dan Cody is the biggest freak he has had an opportunity to coach:

Dan Cody, I’m glad you mentioned him, because that’s what I said, if I start naming players I would leave out so many that it wouldn’t be right. Since you mentioned Dan Cody, certainly without a doubt one of the special guys I coached. You like to have all your players, not just in that position, be like Dan Cody. He was just a tremendous worker, a great athlete, but great work ethic, great pride, great practice player. He practiced so hard. On the football field, on the game field, never took a lazy step. He always played so incredibly hard, played with so much pride, played with so much passion. He was just a joy to coach. No doubt. No doubt.

On something we don’t know about Eric Striker:

Oh, you guys know everything. He makes sure that you all are aware of everything about him. Eric Striker is a really good player, as you all know. The thing about him that I appreciate so much is that he brings so much life to the practice field. He’s another one of those guys that loves to practice. He is constantly talking and jabbering and poking fun at people in a funny way. It’s funny. He brings a lot of joy to the practice field. You have to have guys like that. If you want them practicing hard and getting after it and all of that, it is kind of fun to have that continuity out there too. That’s what Striker brings on top of being a good football player.

On if he likes the way the college football postseason has evolved:

I kind of do. I don’t have anything negative to say about it at all. I like the fact that they changed. I don’t think change is bad. Obviously, it’s just like the BCS, you’re never going to make everybody happy. Even with the four-team format, it didn’t make everybody happy. There were some people out there, obviously, that felt like they got left out. Even at that, with that being said, they still came down with four teams, and they had the Playoff. I thought last night showed that you have two one-loss teams that got in it, and I think they pretty well showed that they wanted to be in there. Certainly, Ohio State showed that they wanted to be in there. I kind of like it actually. Again, nobody thought the BCS was perfect and now they don’t think this perfect, and now they need to go to eight teams. That’s the rumblings going on now. Whether they need to go to eight teams or not, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to somebody else. I’m not going to have to worry about it. I do kind of like the way it worked this year. I thought it was good.

On if he has ever thought about getting into broadcasting:

Well, I appreciate that. I haven’t given it much thought but if you know anybody out there with a job tell them to contact me it might work out, I don’t know. That’s never even crossed my mind so I doubt it.

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