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Big 12 Coaches Give Gundy Appreciation, Respect at Media Days



Mike Gundy has reached Bill Snyder-level comparisons. High praise for someone who 10 years ago was mostly known for yelling at reporters after a game.

New Baylor coach Matt Rhule, on the second day of Big 12 Media Days, dropped Gundy’s name during his press conference in one of the best ways. Rhule is new to the conference, coming from Temple in the AAC, so he was answering a question about getting acclimated with some of the Big 12 coaches through his first few months at work.

Rhule told a story about a coaching event he attended in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his wife started talking with another woman. His wife then tried to introduce the two husbands.

“I looked over and it was Bill Snyder — it was Bill Snyder,” Rhule said. “I was frozen with fear. That’s Bill Snyder. That’s a man I’ve been reading about.

“So to have a chance to be in the league and learn from guys like Coach Snyder and Mike Gundy, I’m so … excited to get around them and know them.”

Rhule said coaches should protect coaching. He said he and the other conference coaches, Gundy included, are teachers and educators for the great players in the league. In the same way, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said Gundy acted as a bit of a teacher for him during his 10 months in Stillwater as Gundy’s offensive coordinator in 2010.

“Mike’s really good at old school, tough, discipline stuff,” Holgorsen said during his press conference.

Holgorsen cited Gundy’s relationship with Rob Glass, OSU’s strength and conditioning coach, and what a joy it was to watch them work together.

“Those guys, the way they practiced and the way that they developed their players in the weight room and from a practice point of view from the toughness aspect of things is probably the main thing that I took out from them,” Holgorsen said.

Gundy was equally thankful to have coached with “a smart guy” like Holgorsen. He said he still uses some of the offense that Holgorsen brought to OSU and suspected Holgorsen did the same thing when he got the West Virginia job.

“I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my coaching career; I’ve done a lot of smart things,” Gundy said. “One of them was hiring (Holgorsen). He was the perfect fit for who we were at that particular time. We had a great 10 months.”

Holgorsen, 45, said Gundy, 49, has changed quite a bit since 2010 but with OSU’s recent success, something must be working.

“He acts a hell of a lot older than 50,” Holgorsen said. “I act a lot younger than 45. He might say the opposite. He’s clearly going through a mid-life crisis. I haven’t hit that yet. I’m still acting like I’m 21.

“I see a much more relaxed, confident Mike Gundy now.”

After the breakout sessions wrapped up and the coaches and players were getting ready to head home, Gundy met up candidly with Holgorsen as they crossed the field at The Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. The two exchanged pleasantries as if they were best buds despite seven years and more than 1,000 miles of land in between. They traded stories about their kids, laughed and shook hands.

Rhule, the Baylor coach, wants to be a part of that. Gundy and others have given him something to strive for. As he mentioned, Gundy is one of those men he will try to get to know to make that transition easier.

“There’s great coaches in this league and great players,” Rhule said. “I’m anxious to be a part of them and to be part of that brotherhood.”

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