Oklahoma is just days into preseason camp, the first-ever as a head coach for new Sooners leader Brent Venables, but already the Sooners are dealing with an unexpected staff change amidst challenging circumstances.
Cale Gundy, the previously longest-tenured Sooners’ assistant having been on staff in Norman, Oklahoma, since 1999, and the younger brother of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, announced his resignation on social media after Cale Gundy revealed he uttered a single unacceptable word last week during film session with the members of his wide receivers’ room.
A former Sooners player who had transitioned through the tenures of Bob Stoops, Lincoln Riley and now Venables, Gundy said he had instructed his wideouts to take notes during the film session and found a player distracted by something else on his iPad.
Gundy, in his statement, said he picked up the tablet and read aloud what the player had on his screen.
“The words displayed had nothing to do with football,” Gundy said, per the statement. “One particular word that I should never – under any circumstance – was displayed on the screen.
“In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading, and when I did, I was horrified. I want to be very clear: the words that I read aloud were not words. What I said wasn’t malicious; it wasn’t even intentional. Still, I am mature enough to know the word that I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions.”
Also in a statement posted to the Sooners’ Twitter account, Venables revealed he had accepted Gundy’s resignation.
“It is with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation,” Venables’ statement reads. “He has dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma football, and he has served our program and university well. We’re thankful for that commitment.
“We also acknowledge that in stepping aside, he has 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.”
Oklahoma also revealed that it has elevated L’Damian Washington, on staff since January, into the role of interim wide receivers coach. Washington previously had been a high school coach in Missouri; he had been a four-year player for the Tigers and spent several years with different NFL organizations before he transitioned into roles as both a prep coach and motivational speaker.
The Sooners open the Venables era in 26 days, Sept. 3, against visiting UTEP.