Long-time Oklahoma football assistant coach Cale Gundy has resigned from the Sooner coaching staff.
Gundy tweeted his reason for resigning on Sunday evening, saying he inadvertently said a word he was reading off a players’ iPad as the player was taking notes during a film session.
Gundy apologized in the tweet, and said he did not want to be a distraction to the team, so he’s stepping down immediately.
“I moved to Norman fresh out of high school in 1990. It feels like I never left. I have devoted nearly all my adult life to Oklahoma football. My children graduated from OU; so did my wife. For almost three decades, this university has been my home, these players have been my family. Today, with great anguish, I announce my resignation. I apologize to those who are disappointed by this news.
I owe it to Sooner Nation to be transparent about what led to this decision: Last week, during a film session, I instructed my players to take notes. I noticed a player was distracted and picked up his iPad and read aloud the words that were written on his screen. The words displayed had nothing to do with football. One particular word that I should never- under any circumstance- have uttered was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I 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. Still I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions. The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so. In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for my mistake. I apologize.
While considering this decision, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support of those who know me, my character, and my love for this program. I truly appreciate the support my players and coaches have shown. That support means more to me than I can express; it proves what I’ve always known about #OUDNA – we are a family, so thank you.
Nevertheless, I recognize this is a critical moment for Oklahoma football. This team- its coaches, players, administration, and fans- do not deserve to be distracted by off-the-field matters while working to continue the tradition of excellence that makes me so proud to be a Sooner. I won’t do the program I love the disservice of distracting from this mission. Effective immediately, I am stepping down.
Naturally, I leave these sidelines heavy hearted. Coaching this football team truly has been my life’s passion. But I leave confident that the team will continue to prosper and I leave with tremendous love for the University of Oklahoma and its athletics department. Sooner born, Sooner bred, and so on… Boomer!”Cale Gundy
Shortly after Gundy’s tweet, OU’s football Twitter account tweeted a statement from head coach Brent Venables, accepting Gundy’s resignation.
“It’s with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He’s dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well. 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.
The culture we’re building in our program is based on mutual respect. Our staff is here to develop successful student-athletes, but also young men of character. As the leaders of this program, it’s essential that we hold ourselves to the highest standards as we model for our players the type of men we want them to become.
L’Damian Washington, who has been serving as an offensive analyst for our program, will coach our wide receivers on an interim basis.”OU Head Coach Brent Venables
On Monday, Coach Venables released another statement:
“As painful as it has been dealing with Coach Gundy resigning from the program, it doesn’t touch the experience of pain felt by a room full of young men I am charged to protect, lead and love. There are a few things I would like to address.
Coach Gundy resigned from the program because he knows what he did was wrong. 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. He knows our goals for excellence and that coaches have special responsibilities to set an example. He also knows that, while he will always be a part of the OU family, that his words affected many of us and did not represent the principles of our university.
Again, his resignation was the right thing to do, and we will move forward positively.”Brent Venables, OU Head Football Coach
Gundy came to OU in 1990 as a highly recruited quarterback out of Midwest City, the younger brother of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.
After his playing career ended in 1993, he was a graduate assistant for the Sooners in 1994, then spent three seasons as an assistant coach at UAB, before returning to OU to join Bob Stoops’ staff in 1999.
He’s OU’s all-time wins leader in combined wins as a player and coach with 266 wins.