Mike Gundy has been doing one heck of a job in 2021, and that’s not something that’s going to change because of a tightly contested road loss that came down to the wire — and a controversial call.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Cowboys’ veteran coach is on the radar for those set to hand out postseason trophies.
Gundy, along with 20 other head coaches, was included on the watch list for the 2021 Paul “Bear” Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Award, given annually to the nation’s top CEO.
Entering Oklahoma State’s 100th Homecoming, Gundy is the winningest football coach in program history and is off to one of the best start of his 17-year career. The Cowboys are 6-1 and still in control of their own destiny when it comes to the Big 12 title race. And he’s gotten the team to this point in a way which he’s never done before, with defense and grit, instead of a dynamic offense and shootouts.
Gundy won the award in 2011 after his team finished 12-1 (also with a loss in Ames). I’m not saying I’d pick this team to run the table and win a Big 12 title, but it’s still on the table. The mulleted one enters this weekend’s Kansas game with a career record of 143-68. He signed a new perpetual five-year deal with Oklahoma State last week.
Here’s a look at the 2021 award’s watch list.
Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
Sonny Dykes, SMU
Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
Dana Holgersen, Houston
Jeff Traylor, Texas-San Antonio
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest
Dave Doeren, North Carolina State
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
Mel Tucker, Michigan State
Dave Aranda, Baylor
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
Jonathan Smith, Oregon State
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M
Nick Saban, Alabama
Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Aside from Gundy, the only name included in this list to have actually earned the hardware is Alabama’s Nick Saban, who won the award last year with the Crimson Tide and in 2003 at LSU.
The winner of 2021 Paul “Bear” Bryant Award will be announced in Houston, Texas on Jan. 12, 2022, along with conference coach of the year awards for each Power Five league and one for Group of Five COY. Voting for the award starts following the College Football Playoff National Championship game and concludes two days later. The award is presented by the Houston chapter of the American Heart Association.
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