Oklahoma football assistant coach Cale Gundy resigns after saying 'racially charged' word

NORMAN, Okla. — Cale Gundy has spent more than half his life as either a player or coach at Oklahoma.

Over the past 24 seasons, Gundy has been a constant in the Sooners’ football program.

That streak won’t stretch to 25.

Sunday night, the OU wide receivers coach surprisingly announced his resignation with a statement on Twitter.

In the lengthy statement, Gundy offered an explanation for the circumstances that led to the decision.

Gundy said last week during a film session, he noticed a player distracted.

Opinion: Cale Gundy's resignation was a necessary step for Oklahoma Sooners football

Sign up for our sports newsletter: All the sports news you need to know delivered right to you!

“(I) picked up his iPad and read aloud the words that were written on the screen,” Gundy said in the statement. “The words displayed had nothing to do with football. One particular word that I should never — under any circumstance — have uttered was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I was horrified.

“I want to be very clear: the words I read aloud from that screen were not my words. What I said was not malicious; it wasn’t even intentional. Still, I am mature enough to know that the word I said was shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions. The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so. In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for my mistake. I apologize.”

On Monday afternoon, Sooners head coach Brent Venables issued a statement saying, in part: "As painful as it has been dealing with Coach Gundy resigning from the program, it doesn't touch the experience of pain felt by a room full of young men I am charged to project lead and love."

Venables further explained the reason for Gundy's resignation and said his actions were "not acceptable."

"Coach Gundy resigned from the program because he knows what he did was wrong," Venables statement read. "He chose to read aloud to his players, not once but multiple times, a racially charged word that is objectionalble to everyone and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program."

Gundy came to OU in 1990 from Midwest City, deciding to forge his own path after his brother, Mike, had starred as a quarterback at Oklahoma State.

Cale Gundy quarterbacked the Sooners from 1990-1993, throwing for more than 6,000 yards and 35 touchdowns.

His 1,914 passing yards in 1992 set an OU single-season record at the time. Gundy bettered it with 2,311 yards the next season.

Gundy’s 6,686 career passing yards were also an OU career record until Josh Heupel broke the mark in 1999-2000. Gundy is still sixth on OU’s career passing list.

Cale Gundy has resigned from the Oklahoma coaching staff.
Cale Gundy has resigned from the Oklahoma coaching staff.

After serving as a graduate assistant in 1994, Gundy left OU to coach quarterbacks and then running backs at Alabama-Birmingham.

When Bob Stoops was hired to take over as the Sooners’ head coach after the 1998 season, Stoops hired Gundy to coach running backs.

Gundy developed a reputation as one of the nation’s strongest recruiters and played a big part in the position thriving under Stoops and then Lincoln Riley.

In 2015, Gundy moved to coach inside receivers.

Under Venables, Gundy was in charge of all of the wide receivers.

“It is with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy’s resignation,” Venables said in his initial statement following the resignation. “He’s dedicated more than half of his life to Oklahoma football and has served our program and university well. We’re thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he’s 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.

“The culture we’re building in our program is based on mutual respect. Our staff is here to develop successful student-athletes, but also young men of character. As the leader of this program, it’s essential that we hold ourselves to the highest standards as we model to our players the type of men we want them to become.”

Venables said L’Damian Washington, an offensive analyst for the Sooners, would be the interim wide receivers coach.

Washington is a former Missouri football player who spent time in the NFL. He began his coaching career as a middle school coach in 2019-20.

In what proved to be Gundy's final game with the Sooners, December's Alamo Bowl victory over Oregon, Gundy called plays for the first time during his OU tenure as Stoops returned to the sidelines on an interim basis.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Cale Gundy resigns at Oklahoma after saying 'racially charged' word