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NFL World Reacts To The Surprising Mike Gundy News

A closeup of Mike Gundy.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys reacts during the second half of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against the Missouri Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on December 31, 2018 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Mike Gundy has been the head coach at Oklahoma State since 2005, but apparently nearly left Stillwater a little over a decade ago.

On Monday, Gundy shared with reporters that he interviewed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coaching vacancy following the 2011 season. Gundy said he spoke with the Bucs three times before ultimately electing to stay at his alma mater.

At the time, Gundy was coming off a 12-1 season, which included a win in the Fiesta Bowl and a top five final ranking. Chip Kelly was widely-reported to be Tampa Bay's first choice, and when he chose to remain at Oregon, the Bucs hired Rutgers' Greg Schiano instead.

Had Gundy made the leap to the NFL at that time, it would have significantly altered not just college football but the Bucs' franchise. 

Analysts and fans have been discussing "what might have been" this afternoon.

Schiano flamed out in Tampa after two seasons, and the Bucs continued to wander the NFL wilderness until they added Tom Brady in 2020.

Gundy, meanwhile, has continued winning at Oklahoma State, posted 10 consecutive seasons with a winning record since then. Currently, his Cowboys are 5-0 and ranked in the top 10 nationally.