Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy is the 2015 Region 4 Coach of the Year as honored by the American Football Coaches Association, it was announced today. Region 4 consists of all schools in the Big 12 and Conference USA.
Gundy, who was recognized as the 2010 Big 12 Coach of the Year and the 2011 Eddie Robinson Award winner as national coach of the year, has guided Oklahoma State to four seasons with at least 10 wins, an outright Big 12 title (2011) and a share of the Big 12 South title (2010) in the past six seasons alone. The Cowboys finished the 2010 and 2011 seasons ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll and climbed to as high as No. 6 in the nation in 2013 and No. 4 in the nation in 2015.
The 2015 season may have been Gundy’s best coaching job to date, as the Cowboys roared to a 10-0 record and climbed to as high as No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 6 in the College Football Playoff standings in mid-November, despite not being ranked to start the season. The Cowboys of 2015 enter the Allstate Sugar Bowl sporting a 4-0 record in games decided by one score and three times overcame deficits of 15 points or more to win games.
Gundy went against convention to make a two-quarterback system work spectacularly this season. Mason Rudolph enters the bowl game ranked 13th nationally in passing yards and fifth nationally in yards per pass attempt. J.W. Walsh is responsible for 144 points despite having only 138 total offense attempts (1.04 points responsible for per total offense attempt). Rudolph and Walsh have combined to throw 35 touchdown passes, a mark that is just five short of the single-season school record.
Four times has Gundy coached the Cowboys to a bowl game now referred to as one of the New Year’s Six since 2010. The Pokes appeared in the 2010 Cotton Bowl, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, the 2014 Cotton Bowl and now the 2016 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Oklahoma State has been ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll in seven of the last eight seasons and has posted 10-win seasons four of the last six years. Only once has OSU finished lower than third in the Big 12 since 2009.