ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy described himself Thursday as a extra affected person particular person, modified partly by a tough summer time final 12 months.
There was the demise of his mom, a soft-spoken and easygoing soul who had at all times advised her son to only chill out. He additionally bumped into issues final summer time along with his gamers who had been specializing in racial injustice, and had been upset with him being photographed carrying a shirt selling a far-right information channel. The coach had additionally criticized mainstream media protection of the pandemic.
”The one factor with all the stuff that is gone on during the last 14 or 16 months that is had an impact on me, our tradition in our program is just about the identical,” Gundy mentioned at Large 12 media days. ”I feel it is all of us being able, and I embody myself, to pay attention and be affected person and assume issues by. Often I wished to decide now, we transfer this path, that is what we do, that is the way in which it’s.”
Gundy took a $1 million pay reduce and had his contract shortened by a 12 months after an inner overview prompted by sharp criticism from former star operating again Chuba Hubbard, who’s Black. The administration mentioned the contract changes had been Gundy’s thought and that the overview discovered ”no signal or indication of racism” within the soccer program.
”I feel what I discovered is to actually hearken to what’s on the market and have compassion for persistence and sitting down and pondering issues by,” Gundy mentioned. ”So I feel a number of the transition that we went by, actually, as a rustic during the last 12 months, in my scenario, some persistence, extra of a capability to pay attention and make actually high quality choices and never transfer so quick.”
LONG TIME IN LEAGUE
Gundy, a former Oklahoma State quarterback, goes into his seventeenth season as head coach of the Cowboys.
Solely two present FBS coaches have been at their faculties longer: Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and TCU’s Gary Patterson. Ferentz’s first season with the Hawkeyes was 1999, and Patterson was promoted from defensive coordinator to go coach of the Horned Frogs after the 2000 common season earlier than they performed in a bowl recreation.
Patterson goes into solely his tenth season within the Large 12, the league TCU moved to from Mountain West. The following most-tenured Large 12 coach is Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, going into his seventh season.
Baylor linebacker Terrel Bernard was the Large 12’s main tackler, with 55 tackles by 5 video games, earlier than he suffered a season-ending shoulder harm. Now he is again for an additional season after deciding to not enter the NFL draft.
”I am grateful for Terrel coming again. It was a selection that he made. And we’re all higher for it. I am a greater coach due to it,” mentioned Dave Aranda, going into his second season as Baylor’s coach.
Aranda expects Bernard to be improved this season, with a greater understanding of the protection that Aranda initially put in primarily by Zoom and distant studying due to the pandemic that worn out spring observe simply weeks after his hiring.
”His understanding of the protection, whereas nice and doubtless the most effective on our protection, was nonetheless at a degree a lot to be desired,” mentioned Aranda, the previous defensive coordinator at LSU. ”His full understanding of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and the place his assistance is, I feel the sky is the restrict for him.”
Bernard mentioned he was cleared two months in the past for full exercise, and that further time along with coaches and gamers has been enormous in absolutely studying the system.
”Taking a step again and seeing the larger image, when you’re within the season form of going by the hearth, it is powerful to try this,” he mentioned.
All 4 Texas Tech wins final season had been by single scores, and so had been two of its losses in a 4-6 season. That was after the Purple Raiders went 0-4 in such video games in coach Matt Wells’ debut, with these 4 by a mixed 11 factors whereas ending 4-8 general.
”I feel the secret on this league is discovering a technique to win shut video games,” Wells mentioned. ”However we all know that. So as to get right into a bowl recreation and to get to the higher half of the Large 12, you may should win shut video games.”
Wells hopes management and the expertise of being in these conditions a lot prior to now two years could make a distinction this season.
”It’s essential to win a pair, particularly early, to provide your guys confidence and momentum because the season lingers on,” he mentioned. ”As a result of you are going to be in these video games each Saturday on this league.”
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