Mike Gundy was already making “Big Daddy” money at Oklahoma State, but today his wallet got a little fatter. Oklahoma State announced on Tuesday that coach Gundy has signed a new, perpetual 5-year contract. The total contract is worth $22.25 million which will pay him $4.2 million in 2017 with increases of $125,000 each year.
Did you catch that; the word perpetual? Here is where the contract get a little crazy (or a little ingenious, I am not sure, yet). Gundy’s contract will automatically renew each year, forever keeping the contract at a 5-year deal.
“Today is a good day for Oklahoma State football,” said OSU athletic director Mike Holder. “The new contract recognizes Coach Gundy’s success at building and sustaining a premier college football program and reflects our appreciation and our long-term commitment to Coach Gundy. Not only is he one of the best coaches in the country, he also does things the right way.”
Truthfully, I am not sure what to make of this. Mike Holder caught a lot of flack for signing former basketball coach Travis Ford to a 10-year deal, a contract that kept him in Stillwater far longer than the fans wanted, all while seemingly nickel and diming coach Gundy. The previous tension between Gundy, Holder and super-booster T. Boone Pickens is well documented.
On the surface, a perpetual contract keeps Oklahoma State from having to offer a crazy long-term contract. Now, it’s unlikely that Oklahoma State will ever be in a position where they look to cut ties with Gundy, but if they did a long-term contract can limit a school’s options and frustrate the fans. Just ask Red Raider Nation.
However, in many ways, a perpetual 5-year contract is actually more favorable to a coach. After all, when coaches fail to live up to expectations in long-term deals, it’s never in the first year or two. No, it’s when the school is ready to part ways, but there is still five years on a contract making a buyout too large to overcome. Well, in Gundy’s deal, they will always be five years away. So, in actuality, it looks like Holder and the school are finally ready to give coach Gundy his due.
One thing is for sure, I would be willing to bet that coach Gundy is the richest man currently rocking a mullet, as he is now the 16th-highest paid coach in the country.
“I’m very pleased with the new contract because it reflects our mutual commitment and long-term vision to take our football program to an even higher level in the years to come,” said Gundy. “I appreciate the support and confidence of President Hargis and Coach Holder in me to continue to lead this program for many years to come.”