Oklahoma Sooners wide receivers coach Cale Gundy has called it quits after 23 seasons in Norman.
Gundy resigned from his role Sunday night, saying he read aloud a word he should never “have uttered” off the screen of a player’s iPad during a film session last week. Gundy said in a letter posted to Twitter that he noticed a distracted player on his iPad who was supposed to be taking notes. He picked up the player’s iPad and read the words on the screen. They had nothing to do with football, Gundy said, and included the word in question.
Gundy said in the moment he did not realize what he was reading, although once he did, was “horrified.”
“I want to be very clear: the words I read aloud from that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious; it wasn’t even intentional,” Gundy wrote. “Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”
Cale Gundy’s Tenure at Oklahoma Spanned Decades
Cale Gundy, 50, had been with the program for nearly 30 years as a player and then coach. He played quarterback for the Sooners from 1990-93, leading them to two bowl victories. Gundy spent four seasons on UAB’s coaching staff before returning to Oklahoma in 1999 under head coach Bob Stoops. Gundy served as running backs coach for 16 seasons and then seven more as the inside receivers coach. In addition, he was Oklahoma’s assistant head coach.
Brent Venables, entering his first season as Oklahoma’s head coach, issued a statement on Gundy’s resignation. Venables coached alongside Cale Gundy from 1999-2011 – both members of Stoops’ inaugural coaching staff at Oklahoma.
“It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He’s dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well,” Venables said. “We’re thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he’s placed the program and the welfare of our student-athletes first. In coaching and in life, we’re all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes.”
Cale Gundy Receives Support from Former Player
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon, who Gundy coached at Oklahoma from 2014-16, posted his thoughts on Twitter, saying “Sooner Nation This Ain’t Right.” Mixon offered support to Gundy and expressed his disappointed in the outcome.
“I offer my highest support and admiration for Coach Gundy and will be extremely disappointed with the school, the program, and the administrators if he is not allowed to continue as a coach at the university going forward,” Mixon wrote. “If he in anyone’s eyes did anything wrong, then let us show people how we give people second [chances], how we help all people be better people and that we teach all to work together, grow and evolve as people.
“I for one, having gone through my own tribulations while at OU, know that I am where I am because I was given a second chance at school, life and to be a better person. And I owe a lot of that to Coach Gundy as a person, teacher, and coach.”
Amid cries for Gundy to be brought back, Venables reinforced Monday that a return isn’t in the cards.
“Coach Gundy resigned from the program because he knows what he did was wrong,” Venables said. “He chose to read aloud to his players, not once but multiple times, a racially charged word that is objectionable to everyone, and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program. This is not acceptable. Period. Coach Gundy did the right thing in resigning.”