Reader Thoughts: Lessons Learned in Business and in Life

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Good stuff from a great reader here on Mike Gundy.

Why is a college coach supposed to have a close relationship with his football players. I understand I guess these days you have to pamper them and make sure their feelings are in good spirits and make sure that they are 100% satisfied with everything that is going around them because nowadays they just don’t get that stuff at home by their parents because both parents work and just plain not raised up like they were a couple decades ago. But listen, these kids aren’t in middle school or high school anymore! They are in college and are getting paid to play the game whether it’s their likeness or scholarship. College is supposed to get these kids ready for pro football and in life in general and some coaches see it this way and stick to coaching more than personal relationships. There is nothing wrong with either way but to paint a picture like Gundy doesn’t care about his players is laughable. He is a CEO not a psychologist or a daycare worker. You think Nick Saban has a personal relationship with all his players? If you want to treat them all the same and keep your team going then you can’t have really close relationships with just the good players and I think Gundy sees it this way.

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As any good CEO does, they know their key people and interact with them. If I had a top sales person, I would interact with them maybe more than a entry level employee if for no other reason that I wanted to make sure they felt valued and stayed making sales. Gundy’s position is no different and if he had no meaningful interaction with his star then I can’t help but think he would with a walk-on.

It’s not a matter of pampering them about their feelings and satisfaction. It’s common decency and caring about a young person and their life.

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I can see some of your points . Having a personal relationship with 100+ people with 20-30 new people coming in every year seems like a big task in and of itself . Then not to mention finding new coordinators and positions coaches, keeping up on the rules, having a personal relationship with your family, church… idk anyone who could do that even for millions a year .

On the other hand I’ve seen CEOs have relationships with everyone from C level execs all the way to the janitor . I’ve seen CEOs that just delegate everything and that works for their company too.

It’s easy for players and us to point out all the culture stuff Gundy preaches and want to get closer to the head of the culture committee but can we all take a step back and see what that would entail ? More than I or Chuba can grasp .

I don’t think Gundy was Doing anything’s on purpose . I mean he has hired and held on to a lot of people that he thought could have these relationships and he probably thought that was doing a good job .

It looks like I’ve wrote a lot and said nothing .

TLDR: don’t read it anyway I’m just rambling .

Jeffs question did not have a question mark at the end of his first sentence/question for a reason. The rest of his post was clear he wasn’t looking for an answer because he wanted to teach us why Gundy should not have a relationship with his players. Maybe the part that has been left out is that this was never about a tshirt although that was the icing on the cake. Instead, it was about MGs determination to let us know where he stood politically. He continued to drop these conservative booms with a sentence here and there to let us know where he stood politically in his press conferences. No big deal to him since every county in Oklahoma agrees with him but where he needed to think past the end of his nose was that every black football player would be told by their mama, “You aren’t gonna play for that man that can’t keep his politics to himself.” Not one black mama would ever trust him with her son ever. It was not thought out well by Gundy to casually drop those political remarks here and there in press conferences because he showed his cards and no head football coach that is thinking would talk politics in a country with the division we have in the US especially at this time in history and especially when the majority of his players are on the opposite side of Gundys politics. UNBELIEVABLE and then the fans write on social media that they can’t see the big deal pouring gasoline on this fire. REALLY? And then when a coach tends to not communicate with his players, the imagination of those players goes to work and it is easy for them to believe this man doesn’t care about them and neither do these fans that don’t get why they are upset. I guess we are living in a time when people refuse to stop and listen to anyone that may share a different viewpoint.

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I would argue coaching is over 50% relationship building. Some of you guys need to take your Gundy goggles off. Political stuff aside…he’s coming off 11 losses in the last 2 years. His only conference championship was almost 10 years ago. He was making over $5mil per year and still flirting around for more $$$. I don’t care about politics (even if Gundy does). Get the job done on the field!! Stop getting your d*** beat in by uo over and over again. He’s not getting paid to tell us how he feels about today’s culture. That sounds like excuses to me. Get it done on the field. Starts with relationships.

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A few weeks before Chuba announced he would come back, my son and I happened to run into Gundy leaving The Garage here in town. I point-blank asked him if he knew if Chuba was coming back or not. He said and I quote, “Your guess is as good as mine.” We left the restaurant and I told my son, “Surely he knows and just isn’t saying publicly.” Now in light of everything that has been proven with the disconnection, I’m thinking he truly DIDN’T know and hadn’t really discussed it with Chuba. Which speaks volumes. How do you not have a better connection with your players? And yes investing in personal relationships is a MASSIVE part of coaching whether you believe it or not! Coaches should at least have a general idea of most of the players dating life, what their major/degree plan is, future plans on NFL, family background. Giving a ■■■■ about your players off the field is part of motivating them to empty the tank on the field in pursuit of championships. Just my 2 cents.


This will be flagged and removed for being off topic but the topic is a tee shirt and racism. I didn’t pick the topics Chuba did. All this sh!t about power and relationships came from someone else after the tweet by Chuba, but go ahead and flag me for being off topic and pretend you’re morally superior because you’re down with the cause.