Of all the prominent OSU athletes who announced their return to Stillwater, none did it with their feet on the president’s desk. Not until Ollie Gordon’s Christmas Eve video surfaced to remind everyone what he means to Oklahoma State, and vice versa.
STILLWATER — Ollie Gordon didn’t want to put his feet on Dr. Kayse Shrum’s desk.
Shrum, Oklahoma State’s president, has a running gag with her staff members. If Shrum wanders by and they are away, she’ll recline in their chair with her feet on the desk and send them a picture.
A staffer let Gordon, college football’s leading rusher, in on the joke as they waited in Shrum’s office to shoot a video announcing his return to OSU football. They assured him she would find it funny.
Gordon obliged and propped up his feet.
The result was a minute-and-a-half video that began with Shrum walking in on Gordon watching his highlights with Pistol Pete.
Shrum: “Ollie, What are you doing in my office?”
Gordon: “I’m just watching tape with Pete.”
Shrum: “With your feet on my desk?”
Gordon: “Dr. Shrum, I’m home. Welcome to Olliewood.”
Those were the words every Cowboy fan had been waiting to hear. And on Christmas Eve, they got their gift: A return from the 2023 Doak Walker Award winner and brightest star on campus.
There have been big returns at OSU before.
In 2013, point guard Marcus Smart was a projected NBA lottery pick and turned it down at a press conference in the middle of the Student Union.
Running back Chuba Hubbard and receiver Tylan Wallace drew a similar crowd in 2020 with a pep rally shortly after they shared their intentions to return.
But an announcement from the desk of the university president? That’s uniquely Ollie Gordon.
“I mean, if you look at it, that’s where Oklahoma revolves around, Dr. Shrum, our president, and Pistol Pete, our mascot, and everybody loves them so why not put them in the video?” Gordon said after the Texas Bowl.
Gordon professes his love of OSU at every corner. This season, he attended the Cowgirl basketball game against New Orleans. It was an 11 a.m. tipoff on a Wednesday and the crowd was full of screaming elementary school students. The jumbotron captured Gordon joining the “Baby Shark” dance.
In December, Gordon drove to Oklahoma City to attend a Cowboy basketball game in the Paycom Center.
“I certainly am a big fan of his,” OSU basketball coach Mike Boynton said at the time. “I see him at every event, most of the time I’m there as well…We need to make sure we take care of that guy. He is priority one, two and three in my mind. I’m just proud of the way he represents the program, the way he represents Stillwater and the university and obviously, he loves the school.”
Gordon’s announcement video was filmed on Dec. 20, the day before he traveled to Houston for the Texas Bowl. Bryce Coon, also known as Pistol Pete No. 95, was back home in Mountain View, in southwest Oklahoma, when he got a summons.
Coon called in some help on his farm so he could drive two and a half hours to Stillwater to shoot scenes on the field, in the locker room, in front of Barry Sanders’ statue and in Shrum’s office.
“Yeah it’s like, ‘I’m in Dr. Shrum’s office, the president of Oklahoma State University, I’m sitting next to the best back in America with his feet propped up on her desk and I’m sitting here watching his highlight reel with him as Pistol Pete,” Coon said. “Like, you don’t get to do that and I was able to do that. It was just awesome.”
Gordon and Pistol Pete often interact and joke with each other before games. Gordon always makes time for Pete, whether it’s for a game of rock-paper-scissors or a quick handshake.
“He seems to be more out about his loyal and trueness,” Coon said. “He’s more bought into the Cowboy code and all those things we talk about here at Oklahoma State University. He’s just living life and playing football, you can’t ask for anything other than that.”
Gordon, now back for his junior season, will be a 2024 Heisman Trophy contender and the face of a promising Cowboy football team. His name recognition will continue to grow. Life is only going to get busier.
“I’m here for it,” Gordon said. “Ollie is for the people.”