Sooner surprise: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops retires at 56
Jun 09, 2017, 09:12
Stoops led the Sooners to two national titles, 18 consecutive bowl berths, and 10 Big 12 titles, along with a number of other impressive accolades.
When the University of Oklahoma hired Bob Stoops almost 20 years ago, he was known in coaching circles as an up-and-coming defensive coordinator.
Over the course of the next 18 seasons, Stoops earned the nickname "Big Game Bob" for his ability to get his football team to marquee postseason matchups.
"Not only is the 56-year-old OH native the winningest coach in the Sooners" renowned football history, but his 18 years also makes him the longest tenured in an illustrious coaching line that includes some of the biggest names in college football coaching.
Sooners offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, 33, will take over as head coach on a permanent basis, effective immediately.
While Oklahoma did not make it to the College Football Playoffs in his final year, the last game coached by "Big Game Bob" was a 35-19 win over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. "He wanted to go out at the right time and he feels good about where the program is right now".
Bob Stoops' younger brother, Mike, is now the defensive coordinator for the University of Oklahoma.
Along the way, his teams won first with defense and then with offense, adapting to the changing flow of the Big 12.
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He went 190-48 (.798) at Oklahoma in his only college head-coaching job, giving him more victories than Sooners greats Barry Switzer (157) and Bud Wilkinson (145). Many in the restless fan base were frustrated that the Sooners hadn't won a national title since 2000, even though Stoops' teams played for three more national titles during his tenure.
"Right person at the right time", Castiglione said.
With Swinney's most recent national title win over Alabama, the Clemson head coach simply replaced Stoops from that last four-man list from 2016.
"The coaching life is like a relay race and I'm thankful for my turn and am confident as I pass the baton".
On the field, Sooner fans were concerned about retaining Riley as he entertained offers for head coaching gigs at North Texas, South Carolina and Houston.
But before all that, he helped Snyder turnaround K-State as an assistant. Another younger brother, Mark, is head coach at Kentucky.
"Bob truly represents what is good about college football and the success of his career speaks for itself", Mark Stoops said.
"Bob did a tremendous job turning things around at Oklahoma and putting their program back in national prominence", Brown said. A daughter attends Oklahoma and twin sons are seniors in high school who are potential major college football players.
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