How The Bucs Nearly Hired Another College Coach Before Job Was Offered To Greg Schiano

October 11th, 2022

Nearly took Bucs job in 2012.

When former Bucs commander Greg Schiano ran the team, probably his most famous quote was when he barked at players warming up before practice, “Toes on the line!”

Do a search of that phrase on social media and watch what you come up with.

However, if things had changed only slightly, the Bucs may have had a coach whose famous line was recently celebrated on social media for its 15-year anniversary.

“I’m a man, I’m 40!”

The man who spoke those words was long-time Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. And he spoke those words slightly over a year after it seems he was offered the open Bucs job.

Raheem Morris had just been fired after his team fully collapsed after beginning the 2011 season 4-2. The Bucs finished that year 4-12, losing the last 10 games.

Then leaky, sleepy quarterback Josh Freeman was fully entrenched as the Bucs’ starter and Gundy, a former quarterback himself, had success with college quarterbacks and built Oklahoma State into a second-level program. Gundy clearly knew Freeman from Freeman’s Kansas State days and it is not a stretch to think Gundy may have recruited him.

When Morris was fired, Gundy’s Oklahoma State squad had narrowly missed a national championship game when on the second-last game of the regular season, they lost in double-overtime to Iowa State.

So Gundy was a hot commodity.

Yesterday, Jacob Unruh of The Oklahoman asked Gundy in his regularly scheduled press conference about Matt Rhule, a former Big XII coach, getting canned by the Stinking Panthers and if Gundy would be interested in an NFL job and why college coaches so often fail on the NFL level.

Gundy then admitted he had a series of interviews, three to be exact, with the Bucs and implied he was offered the job.

“I didn’t take the job,” Gundy said.

Well, it’s hard to turn down something that was never offered, so Joe is doing the math here and thinking Team Glazer offered Gundy the gig.

Gundy told Kelly Hines of the Tulsa World in the same press conference that he and the Bucs had their interviews while the Cowboys prepared to play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.

Team Glazer must have thought they were close to a deal because on that same day as the Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2, the Bucs fired Morris.

If you just look at the timeline, it seems the Bucs must have been sold on Gundy. Schiano wasn’t hired until Jan. 26. That’s a pretty big gap if Team Glazer already decided Schiano was the No. 2 option.

Of course, Gundy, on a national level, will be forever remembered for his three-minute emotional rant at an Oklahoman columnist, Jenni Carlson, for her portrayal of Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid as being soft.

The highlight of the rant, which included Gundy railing that newspapers are “trash” and he refuses to read them, was when Gundy screamed at Carlson, “I’m a man, I’m 40!” You can view the entire debacle here.

Joe wonders what may have happened if Gundy pulled that in a press conference here?

A good portion of Gundy’s hollering can be viewed below.

17 Responses to “How The Bucs Nearly Hired Another College Coach Before Job Was Offered To Greg Schiano”

  1. westernbuc Says:

    If he did that rant in Tampa and directed it at the newspapers he’d be doing a service.

  2. Proudbucsfan Says:

    He spoke the truth, that’s why most of them clapped after the speech. This is one of the reasons I read Joebucsfan and not a lot of others this site is real and the joes don’t pick on people for the sake of clicks. They give honest Opinion’s and fact’s

  3. Joe Says:


    Thank you very much for the kind words. You get it. Joe doesn’t enjoy writing harshly about folks. But dang, they are paid handsomely to do a job. If they can’t produce, step aside for someone who can.

    There is nothing personal at all about it.

    Thanks again!

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    So the awful Jersey Trash Schiano hiring really was even more desperate than we knew, considering they also flew a plane out to pick up Chip Kelly for the job only to have him spit in their face as well.

  5. J Ghotier Says:

    I absolutely love Gundy too. That would’ve been cool. I’m not gonna lie – and will hurt Oklahoma peeps here – but I had to go to my brothers Army graduation there once in the winter and it was awful…but that is one of my favorite coaches.

    “I’m 40…I’m a Man”

  6. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Great piece of history/trivia, Joe! It was very clandestine back then. I remember hoping it would be Marty Shottenheimer ( RIP ) or even Brian Billick and praying it wasn’t Mike Sherman. Schiano was way out of left field.

  7. EA Says:

    Speaking of Schiano, he’s still attacking victory formation with the Rutgers.

  8. Buccobill99 Says:

    Wasnt chip kelley almost hired that offseason too before toes on the line was hired and turned the glazers down also

  9. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    lol we had a lot of trouble finding a coach that year. Dom sure made a mess of things.

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bucs finished 4-12 that year, Joes. But, yeah.

    Gundy would have actually been a bigger disaster than Schiano was. Freeman was going to take whoever followed Raheehaw right down the tubes .

  11. Hodad Says:

    Glazers have had their problems hiring coaches.

  12. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    How could I not come out of seclusion to add a post to a Greg Schiano themed article? Hindsight is great…and yes, Freeman was (maybe still is?) a mental case that would have sunk any coach the Bucs had hired. Doubtful Gundy could have gotten all that much more consistency out of him unless he maybe went full cheerleader for him like “Rah” did and coddled his fragile ego? Interesting nugget of Bucs trivia though, thanks to the Joe’s for sharing with us.

  13. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Trump – “You’re fake news, you’re fake news and you’re DEFINITELY fake news … Next question” lol

  14. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Whether you liked the guy or thought he was the Devil incarnate those pre-press secretary “pressers” featuring Trump sparring with some of the DC presstitutes was entertaining TV compared to the press conferences before or after. Make Pressers Great Again! Kind of like watching FitzMagic go full McGregor at a Bucs post game presser after lighting it up those few games 😂

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    EA Says:
    October 11th, 2022 at 6:19 am
    Speaking of Schiano, he’s still attacking victory formation with the Rutgers.


    Literally the only good thing that Schiano did. You don’t quit in one score games. If you got the chance to get the ball back, you try to get the ball back, you try to force the other team to make mistakes. Only losers have an issue with that.

  16. BucfaninMi Says:

    Ray Romano?

  17. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Love how he got a small ovation from the room, which I assume was populated mostly by other journalists.