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Looking Back Through Our Behind The Scenes Chat As We Attempt To Make Sense Of Coach Stoops’ Retirement

Like everyone else yesterday, we were sent scrambling to figure out what was happening in Norman. Here’s our chat transcript as we worked to process what was happening.



Getty Images - John Weast

As you can probably imagine, there is quite a bit of communication behind the scenes as we process news and plan converge. However, some of our best stuff never makes it to the front page. Yesterday was no different as we were sent into a mad scramble when coach Stoops blindsided the college football world by stepping down at Oklahoma. Here is a look at our Slack channel as we try to process and make sense of Stoops’ sudden retirement

Patrick Mayhorn: Uhhh, what?

Jay Jordan: What in the world… Do we know why?

Chris Ross: Honestly, I’m just shocked.

Jay Jordan: Possible explanations and plausible reasons for coach retirement:

  • Health issues, like Gary Pinkel
  • Tired of it and not that great, like Steve Spurrier
  • NCAA knocking on the door, like Pete Carroll
  • Old, like Bobby Bowden
  • Child sex scandal, like Joe Paterno
  • Ready to fish and team getting away from them, like Jimmy Johnson
  • NFL awaits, like Chip Kelly

Which one fits? None of them. He is relatively young, with a great team, close to a milestone, and no rumors of OU and the NCAA or any personal scandal. There was that article a month or so ago about him and his chicago pad.

Chris Ross: Stoops saying it is not health related, been thinking about it for a while.

Daniel Ross: Somebody pointed out that he will be able to attend all the sporting events (home and away) of his twins.

Matt Kappele: At a time like this, so close to the season, and with the roster he has returning, it’s gotta be health related.

Chris Ross: So strange. He is really the only coach that I have ever known at Oklahoma.

Chase Wilder: All things end. It’s just harder to imagine things ending for someone like Stoops because for pretty much everyone who contributes to this website, Bob Stoops is synonymous with OU football, the Big 12, and college football in general. He’s definitely one of the rare coaches that you respected him just as much as you wanted to beat him.

Staying at ANY job for 18 years is bonkers when you really stop and think about it. If bob stoops had a child at the same time he started, that kid would be a legal adult now. Crazy right?

Daniel Ross: Does this mean Riley is the new “Coach Bro”?

Chris Ross: For OU’s sake, let’s hope not.

Daniel Ross: It got me thinking to when I really started to get conscience about sports, it was the 2000 season.

Chris Ross: So what does this mean for OU moving forward? Step back? Step forward? No change?

Patrick Mayhorn: I really don’t think OU is going to step back. If they were, Stoops wouldn’t have retired now. My guess is that he feels that he’s leaving the program in a position where it can sustain under a coach he trusts in Riley.

Jay Jordan: The players are in place. The system and staff remain in tact. The important events have been managed. Facilities improvements have been completed. And, there is enough time for Coach Riley to develop a plan for his upcoming season.  There really cannot be a more advantageous way to leave a program.

Daniel Ross: The real question, in my mind, what does this mean long-term for Mike? Mike has had some up-and-down defenses. He finally seemed to adapt better to the Big 12 two years ago, but that was also somewhat of a mirage because OU ducked half the starting QB’s in the league. Last year started off bad but then got better. Question is, who do you bring in and how would that affect the defense? I think this year is a holding pattern coaching wise, but I expect Mike to move on or be forced out within two years.

Chris Ross: Ya, i would be surprised if Mike is still there this time next year. If they win though, well, winning cures all.

Chris Ross: My biggest concern is recruiting. The Sooners don’t have the best class this year as it is, and I feel like this only gives Herman more ammo. “See, that tradition of winning, well all that’s in the air now.”

Daniel Ross: I think it will help in recruiting and OU can counter some of the negative recruiting Texas was doing. Some Texas prospects might reopen or flip before it is all said and done.

Chris Ross: At least one commit tweeted his surprise.

Patrick Mayhorn: In talking to a couple of recruits today, that one commit was not the only one that was surprised.

Daniel Ross: As soon as you tell a recruit consider it a press release. I think OU coaches will fire back asking where Herman’s winning tradition at Texas is.

Chris Ross: That hasn’t mattered up to this point. Texas currently has a top 5 class, and has more four stars committed than OU has total commits. When your second biggest commit tweets his surprise, that’s not a good thing.

Daniel Ross: I honestly think they were going to wait a little bit more, but Tramel broke the story and moved the timeline.

Chris Ross: By two days. He was going to retire on Friday.

Daniel Ross: Texas would need to win 10 games this year to land a top 5 class. Right now Herman has hype, but it has to translate on the field. BTW, Riley’s second game will be against a top 5 Ohio State squad coached by Urban Meyer and in the Horseshoe. I’m both excited and terrified.

Chris Ross: Why do the have to win 10 games? They landed a top 10 class with Strong last year and only won 5 games.

Chris Ross: Reddit just pointed out in a tweet, Lincoln Riley had just started kindergarten when Bill Snyder was first hired as head coach at K-State.

Chase Wilder: My final take is that Bob knew when good enough was good enough. He wants to watch his boys play football without being a head coach and just be a dad. He can finally pass the burden onto someone else and walk away from coaching

Jay Jordan: I am struck most by the devotion to his institution.  Most coaches are forced out by some circumstance. Or, they leave a team for another opportunity without any thought about the exit from their other school.  Here, Bob Stoops created a peaceful exit aimed at leaving every advantage for the new coach and for the program.

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