Mike Gundy's Recruiting Tactics Criticized by Oklahoma State Athletic Director

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy gestures to his team during an NCAA college football intrasquad scrimmage in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy seemingly responded to criticism of his recruiting efforts by athletic director Mike Holder in a tweet Thursday.

Holder issued a backhanded compliment to Gundy on the Pistols Firing podcast Monday, crediting the coach for his ability to coach up lesser talent.

“You’ve got to give credit to Mike Gundy. He’s really matured into a difference-maker as a coach,” Holder said (h/t Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports). “I would approach recruiting a little differently than he does. I’d want to finish higher in those recruiting rankings than we consistently do. I think that ultimately puts a ceiling on what you’re able to achieve.”

Gundy is 114-53 in 13 seasons at Oklahoma State and has won 10-plus games on six occasions, including each of the last three years. However, the Cowboys consistently fall behind the likes of Oklahoma and Texas on the recruiting trail in the Big 12.

247Sports ranked Oklahoma State 38th nationally in recruiting in 2017 and 33rd in 2018. While Holder likely chose his words poorly, he does have a point that the program is on the outskirts of the elite in recruiting.

There’s little reason a team like NC State (2018) or Kentucky (2017) should out-recruit Oklahoma State given the comparative success between the schools.

It’s possible Gundy should get credit for unearthing players who outplay their rankings. But it’s fair to wonder why the Cowboys aren’t doing better—even if Holder’s way of going about it is inadvisable.

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