Mike Gundy revealed Monday in a bombshell at his weekly media availability that he interviewed on multiple occasions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vacancy a decade ago and was on the precipice of leaving his alma mater for the NFL before opting to remain in Stillwater.
Gundy said the flirtation came after OSU’s Big 12 title-winning 2011 season before the franchise eventually hired Greg Schiano away from Rutgers.
“Ten years ago, I don’t remember how many years ago, I don’t know what year, I interviewed three times with one team and then didn’t take the job,” he said before naming names. “It was Tampa Bay. I think they ended up hiring the guy from Rutgers [Greg Schiano]. I had multiple interviews with them.”
Gundy didn’t expound upon the process — such as whether he turned the franchise down or was passed over — but he made it clear that the brief interest in jumping to the NFL has since expired.
“Anyway, long story short,” he said, “I thought about it. But obviously not now.”
Gundy’s known past flirtations to this point had only included colleges — and mostly it included multiple wink-winks with Tennessee — but the revelation that he almost bounced to the NFL is a pretty big wowza.
At the time Gundy apparently considered the jump, OSU had just won the Big 12 title in the 2011 season and defeated Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, making Gundy’s stock at age 44 sky-high. By all measures he had successfully turned around in short time an OSU program that he took over seven years prior.
Tampa Bay hired Schiano instead, and Schiano’s tenure turned out to be a train wreck. He lasted only two seasons with the Bucs and went 11-21 before they eventually moved on. They went through multiple coaches after Schiano too who had little success, from Lovie Smith to Dirk Koetter, before eventually landing on Bruce Arians, who won a Super Bowl with the franchise two seasons ago.