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Saturday December 16th, 2017 9:46AM

Mike Gundy signs new, 5-year contract with Oklahoma State

By The Associated Press
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At a time of significant change in the Big 12, Oklahoma State went for stability.

Longtime football coach Mike Gundy has signed a five-year contract extension that will pay him $4.2 million this year, followed by a $125,000 raise each year afterward.

Gundy, a former quarterback at Oklahoma State, is the school's longest-serving and most successful head football coach with a 104-50 record. His current contract, which paid $3.9 million annually, was set to expire at the end of 2019. Upon approval by the Oklahoma State/A&M Board of Regents, the agreement announced Tuesday will automatically roll over each season.

"I'm very pleased with the new contract because it reflects our mutual commitment and long-term vision to take our football program to an even higher level in the years to come," Gundy said in a statement.

Gundy has been the head coach at Oklahoma State for 12 seasons, which is fifth nationally among active coaches at their current schools. He has led the program to a school-record 11 straight bowl games, including appearances in the Fiesta, Sugar and Cotton Bowls. Oklahoma State has reached double figures in wins five times in the past seven seasons.

Meanwhile, Texas and Oklahoma will enter the fall with new head coaches.

"Today is a good day for Oklahoma State football," athletic director Mike Holder said. "The new contract recognizes coach Gundy's success at building and sustaining a premier college football program and reflects our appreciation and our long-term commitment to coach Gundy."

The announcement comes months after star quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington announced they will return to school for their senior seasons. The school is pushing Rudolph for the Heisman Trophy, and the Cowboys expect to contend for the Big 12 title this season. Oklahoma State finished last season at 10-3 and ranked No. 11. The Cowboys went to the Alamo Bowl, where they defeated Colorado 38-8.

The Cowboys won the Big 12 title in 2011 and lost to Oklahoma in 2015 and 2016 in games that decided the conference crown. Oklahoma State was in the mix for the national title in 2011 until a surprise loss to Iowa State. The Cowboys ended that season with a Fiesta Bowl win over Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal and a No. 3 final ranking.

Oklahoma has been a thorn in Gundy's side — the Sooners are 10-2 against the Cowboys since Gundy took over.

Even with those struggles, the school saw fit to extend his deal based on his overall success.

"His players love playing for him because he is the consummate players' coach," Holder said. "While I believe his achievements are often overlooked nationally, he's certainly appreciated by those of us at Oklahoma State. We are excited about the future of our football program under the direction of Mike Gundy."

___

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