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Holder on Gundy’s absence from video: ‘The best tribute to me or Boone Pickens is to win'

Holder on Gundy’s absence from video: ‘The best tribute to me or Boone Pickens is to win'

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Mike Gundy and Mike Holder were photographed together on May 19, 2018, during T. Boone Pickens' 90th birthday party in Dallas. BILL HAISTEN/Tulsa World

Tweeted on Monday by the @OSUAthletics account, a 5½-minute video recounts the Mike Holder-OSU relationship that began in 1966.

Narration was provided by Larry Reece, the public-address voice of the Cowboy football and basketball teams. Holder, Reece said, “has made perhaps the most significant impact on Oklahoma State athletics. More than anyone else in history.”

There was commentary from 11 current OSU head coaches: John Smith (wrestling), Jim Littell (women’s basketball coach), Mike Boynton (men’s basketball), Kenny Gajewski (softball), Alan Bratton (men’s golf), Greg Robertson (women’s golf), Josh Holliday (baseball), Colin Carmichael (women’s soccer), Dave Smith (track and cross country), Larry Sanchez (equestrian) and women’s tennis coach Chris Young.

Mike Gundy was not involved. Promoted to the football head-coaching position nine months before Holder became the athletic director in 2005, Gundy did not make a video appearance.

Gundy and Holder are known to have been at odds — at least occasionally if not more frequently — since a 2011-12 negotiation related to Gundy’s contract. As for Gundy’s absence from the video, it is not known whether he declined an invitation or had a schedule conflict.

Holder, who is transitioning from the athletic director's role to a different position at the university, reports that he hasn’t watched the video and isn’t offended that Gundy wasn’t a participant.

“(Football coaches) are right in the middle of recruiting,” Holder said. “Gee whiz, they hadn’t been recruiting all year (because of COVID-19 restrictions). I want (Gundy) to recruit.

“The best tribute to me or Boone Pickens is to win football games. Sign great players, mentor them, make sure they get a good education, coach them up on game day, and then win a bunch of games.”


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Sports Columnist

I joined the Tulsa World in 1990. Prior to becoming a sports columnist in 2016, I was the only sports writer in Tulsa World history to have covered OU, OSU, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts sports on an everyday basis. Phone: 918-581-8397

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