Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Football | On Mike Gundy Choosing Fatherhood Over Football

Zachary Low

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Last Friday, Mike Gundy had a difficult decision to make. As the head coach of a consistent top-25 Division 1 college football team, Gundy has to make tough calls on a regular basis. Just these last few weeks, he has had to deal with losing Biletnikoff favorite Tylan Wallace to an ACL injury and freshman phenom quarterback Spencer Sanders to a hand injury.

Friday’s decision was of a different nature, however. Gundy’s son Gunnar, a senior at Stillwater High School, is the starting quarterback for the football team, and the Pioneers had a semifinal playoff game against Choctaw.

Some sources close to Oklahoma State football said that Gundy was “considering his options” on whether or not he would attend his son’s game and then fly into West Virginia on a private jet immediately after that game, enabling him to make the 11 AM kickoff in Morgantown. Gundy ended up doing just that, and there were no issues with him making the game, including the player meeting Saturday morning before arriving at the field.

His decision has sparked a bit of a conversation on social media among Oklahoma State fans. Many have voiced their support, while some have criticized him and even blamed him for the Cowboys’ lackadaisical play at times against West Virginia.

As a basketball coach, I take my job very seriously. I completely understand my duty and responsibility to my players, and that my level of preparation and commitment must set an example for them.

As a father, I take my responsibilities at home very seriously. If my wife and kids are not my priority, then there’s a problem.

I have no problem whatsoever with Gundy choosing to attend his son’s game. He managed to fly into West Virginia, arriving well after midnight, and while he was likely exhausted for the game in the morning, he was there.

Actually, I more than have no problem with him choosing his son’s game over flying in with the team. I fully support it and expected nothing less from him. If he doesn’t choose his son’s game here, then what does that say about him? Who cares if he’s “extra committed” to the Cowboys if he can’t be committed to his own son?

The fact that was he willing to make the sacrifice to be there for his son’s game—a 62-12 Stillwater victory—and still be able to fulfill his duty as Oklahoma State’s football coach makes him all the more impressive to me. It’s that type of behavior that will inspire a football team, not take away from what they’re trying to accomplish.

If you want to criticize Mike Gundy for the number of difficult decisions he has to make concerning Oklahoma State football, then by all means, go ahead. But if you want to try to weigh in Gundy’s parenting, maybe try focusing that energy elsewhere.

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15 Comments

  1. He did they right thing I am proud of him for doing just what he did didn’t really miss anything and they players will respect him more for doing it

  2. In my opinion… He 100% did the right thing and choosing family over traveling with the team. He is showing his players that family matters! He is showing his players that sometimes you have to make hard choices and family comes first!! I’m fairly confident that Mike will never have a day where he says… If only I had chose my job over my son’s feelings.

  3. Absolutely did the right thing. Your family always comes first. So proud of him for doing what was in his heart. Coming from a mother that has lost two boys. Always show your kids how much you love them and how important they are. Great job coach.

  4. Convenient that it was against West Virginia, the worst team in the league. Guaranteed if it was against big-time opponent or OU he’d be there.

    1. You don’t know that for sure! I think it came down to distance rather than who they were playing anyway and the bottom line is, he made it before the game so what’s all the controversy about! Some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope! Family always comes first!

  5. Coach Gundy totally did the right thing AND probably taught his players a silent lesson on priorities in the process.

  6. Never thought a lot of Mike Gundy before (OU fan) but I do now. Thank you Mike for your decision.

  7. As a former player , the assistant coaches who are also the position coaches are responsible for preparation! The head coach manages and delegates! Offense and defense coordinators puts together the game plan . The head coach reviews and tweaks it!

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