Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who has spent all but five seasons at his alma mater since arriving as an overachieving quarterback in 1986, has reportedly spoken to Tennessee about its vacant head coaching position.
Several reports, including News Sentinel partner GoVols247, said Gundy met with Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart on Sunday. The Tulsa World reported that Gundy was also likely talking to Arkansas about its open position.
"I would never talk about any other jobs or any confirmation of anything that's gone on," Gundy said on a teleconference for Oklahoma State University media late Sunday night. "I would prefer to not talk about anything other than Oklahoma State and the bowl game."
When a reporter asked how he spent the day, Gundy replied, "I spent it around the house."
An Oklahoma State spokesperson told the News Sentinel on Saturday night that Tennessee had not requested permission to speak to Gundy. On Sunday, the school said it had no comment.
Gundy is 66-35 at OSU since replacing Les Miles after the 2004 season. The Cowboys are 7-5 this year after going 12-1 and winning the Fiesta Bowl in 2011.
Gundy signed a new deal in January that pays an average of $3.75 annually through 2019. Any team that hires him would owe Oklahoma State a $3 million buyout. He just put the finishing touches on a giant home in Stillwater, which was in the news
last year when he allegedly fired a contractor for wearing an Oklahoma T-shirt.
So why is he looking around?
Some have speculated that he has a contentious relationship with OSU athletic director Mike Holder that manifested in last year's contract showdown.
Leaks from Gundy's camp suggested OSU wasn't being loyal to him because it had given a 10-year contract to men's basketball coach Travis Ford, according to a report last year in The Oklahoman. Throw Gundy's Memphis-based mega-agent Jimmy Sexton into the mix, and there may be hurt feelings that weren't soothed even after Gundy agreed to the new contract in January.
Tennessee is already believed to have spoken to Louisville coach Charlie Strong. (Strong has denied talking to Tennessee or Auburn, and Louisville officials have declined to comment).
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher could be next in line for discussions as early as today. Hart could interview more candidates when he is in New York this week for the National Football Foundation's annual awards ceremony where former coach Phillip Fulmer will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.