When the news broke about Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy possibly going to Tennessee on Tuesday, I knew this was different than before.
For one, Gundy wasn’t flirting with a team just to pressure the OSU administration and athletics director Mike Holder to increase his pay as Gundy recently signed a big extension before the season started.
Another reason, Gundy didn’t approach the Volunteers, but rather, they approached him with an offer he had to listen to.
According to Robert Allen of GoPokes.com, one of the leaders of information on the story, Tennessee could be willing to double Gundy’s salary, which would put him around the $8 million mark.
Even if Gundy didn’t want the job from the beginning, he owed it to his family to listen to the ridiculous offer, though, because despite Gundy making enough money in his career already, this money could benefit his family for generations.
However, Gundy also owes it to his family to stay. He has mentioned several times that he wants OSU to be a top-20 program historically and eventually get to the top 10. He has brought the Cowboys to that echelon and though they aren’t a top-10 program (something Gundy said he might not see even in his coaching career), they have surpassed Tennessee.
The Volunteers haven’t done anything for years with the Cowboys having more recognition the past decade. Gundy has a culture around him, a home in place and two boys in Stillwater schools. He has said for a while that he doesn’t want to coach into his 60s, so it doesn’t make sense to go to Tennessee for a few years and leave without the intent of building the program, unless he is just doing it for all the money.
In that case, Gundy’s family can stay here in Stillwater while he goes off, makes a lot of money for the next three years and then retires back to Oklahoma.
In Tennessee, you have a rabid fan base with unrealistic expectations that ran off a potential coach last week. Yes, it is the No. 1 school in the state and it draws a huge crowd, but if Gundy ends up going 6-6 that first year, the fans are likely to turn volatile because that’s what SEC fans do.
It’s better for Gundy to ride out his career here. I don’t knock him for listening to the offers and probably getting a nice lunch, to boot, but Gundy spent years building a program from scratch, he doesn’t need to go do it again.