By Jason Elmquist
CNHI News Service
STILLWATER – Lost in the mix of Saturday’s victory over the University of Kansas was the significance of the victory for the Cowboy football program.
Though it wasn’t the prettiest of wins, it was a win none the less. And it was win No. 62 for Mike Gundy, tying him with Pat Jones – Gundy’s former college coach at OSU – for the most wins in school history.
Saturday Gundy could become the winningest coach in the history of the program.
“You stay here long enough, eventually you should break the record,” said Gundy on Monday. “What that means is our team is having success. My first concern is making sure our team is functioning the way they should, their attitude is good, the people that come to watch them play are proud of the effort and that they continue to get better each day and each game.
“That’s really my concern and anything else that comes with it, we share as a staff and as a team. I really feel that way and I talked to coach Jones about that and he understands the way I feel. It feels like I’m kind of carrying on what he started and really I can just continue what he starter here in the mid to late 80s.”
Following last week’s game, Gundy didn’t talk about tying his college coach and it the feat wasn’t even mentioned until after his press conference. As for his players, they didn’t know what Gundy had accomplished until Monday’s weekly press conference.
“I just found out about it. That shows you how humble of a guy coach Gundy is,” linebacker Alex Elkins said. “He doesn’t go around talking about it. I think it’s an awesome achievement. It’s a very good feat for him.”
While the players were surprised that their coach kept quiet about the record, Gundy admitted it wasn’t entirely because of his humble nature.
“Honestly, I usually forget about it every couple of days myself,” Gundy said. “We’re just trying to find a way to move the ball and score points and stop people.”
Just like their coach, the players don’t necessasarily view the record as a testament to Gundy himself, but as the team and a program as a whole and where it has come under him.
“In my four years here, we’ve broken so many records as a team and now coach Gundy as a coach,” senior offensive lineman Parker Graham said. “It’s just incredible all the things we’ve accomplished just in the last four years here at the university.”
It may be setting up perfectly for Gundy to break the record – at home in Boone Pickens Stadium, on Homecoming weekend, against a team that delivered OSU its only loss in last year’s record-breaking season.
“I think it’s great for him. I’m really excited for what everything Gundy has done for this program,” fifth-year senior Jonathan Rush said. “It kind of culminates with him tying that record and now trying to beat it.”
Even the newcomers are looking at their coach’s milestone.
“It’s something really special for him. Anytime you get the chance to do something like that its something really special,” redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh said. “And I know everybody on the team will do everything we can to help him (break it).”