Cale Gundy, an Oklahoma fixture and the Big 12’s longest-serving football coach, resigned Sunday night, saying he read aloud “a word I never should have – under any circumstances. – pronounce” off the screen of a gamer’s iPad during a movie session last week.
“The sad reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to,” Gundy said. wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “In these circumstances, a man of character accepts responsibility. I take responsibility for this mistake. I apologize.”
Gundy, 50, the younger brother of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, played quarterback for the Sooners from 1990 to 1993, setting almost every school record by the time he graduated. He then returned as part of Bob Stoops’ first team in 1999 and had been part of all of Oklahoma’s 14 Big 12 titles and its 2000 national championship. He spent 16 years as the coach of the running backs, followed by seven other coaches inside the receivers, and served as the OU’s assistant head coach.
Gundy said that at the time he “didn’t even realize” what he was reading and, as soon as he did, “I was horrified”.
“I want to be very clear: the words I read aloud on that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious, it wasn’t even intentional,” wrote Gundy. “Still, I’m mature enough to know that the word I spoke was shameful and hurtful, regardless of my intentions.”
Sooners first-year head coach Brent Venables, who was an assistant alongside Gundy from 1999 to 2011 at Norman, issued a corresponding statement Sunday night.
“It is with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation. He has dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma football and has served our program and our university well,” Venables said. “We are grateful for this commitment. We also recognize that in stepping down, he has put the program and well-being of our student-athletes first. As a coach and in life, we are all responsible of our actions and the resulting results.”
Gundy noted in his statement that he did not wish to be a distraction.
“I recognize this is a critical time for Oklahoma football,” Gundy wrote. “This team – its coaches, players, administration and fans – does not deserve to be distracted by off-field matters while striving to continue the tradition of excellence that makes me so proud to be a Sooner.
“Naturally, I leave these sidelines with a heavy heart. Coaching this football team has truly been my life’s passion.”
Venables said L’Damian Washington, an offensive analyst, will replace Gundy on an interim basis.