As the coaching carousel of 2021 starts to wind down ahead of Early Signing Day on Wednesday, athletic directors around the country let out a small sigh of relief. The worst of it may be over, now that schools like Florida, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, and USC all have their new head coaches secured. This kind of movement is unprecedented, even in the craziest of offseasons in my lifetime.
Still, there are several coordinator positions open around the nation and that will all sort itself out after the bowl season, but it’s probably safe to play the “what-if” game with a couple of situations. One of the most intriguing situations that could have been surrounds Mike Gundy to Florida.
A couple of weeks ago, Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated reported that someone representing Mike Gundy reached out to Florida concerning the vacancy that is now occupied by Billy Napier.
Here is the excerpt from his story, “The Schools Clearly Aren’t in Control’: Inside College Football’s Wild Week.”
“When Florida’s job opened, its officials were alerted that Riley and Kelly were willing to move, sources tell SI. The Gators were already set on their No. 1 target and the coach they eventually hired, Napier. During the final week of the regular season as Oklahoma State was preparing to play Bedlam, at least one AD received an email from a marketing agent representing Mike Gundy, saying he was interested in the job.“
Well, more light has been shed on the subject, and according to Warner Media’s Andy Wittry, there is a lot to this story that has found its way into the public eye now.
An agent by the name of Devin Bonik, claiming to represent Mike Gundy, reached out to Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin to let him know that Gundy was “very interested” in the vacancy at Florida. He went on to sell Gundy as a candidate for the job and at one point claims that Mike “feels the timing is now right to make a career move to a special place like Florida.”
The entire “pitch” can be seen here, including more attachments to the email showing Gundy’s success throughout his career in Stillwater.
Whether this is true or not has yet to be determined, but according to Mike Gundy, he doesn’t even have an agent.
What do you expect him to say, “Yes, I wanted to leave for Florida but they chose someone else?” Of course, he would keep quiet about this, but the credibility of the emails is easy to question. How would these leak from the Florida athletic department, and why would an agent slap some pictures on a word document to help aid in “selling” Gundy?
At the end of the day, it appears that Mike Gundy will be the Cowboys head coach in 2022, or until otherwise noted. For all we know, this is just another “emailgate” and Lord knows we don’t need another one of those.