Bob Stoops knew he had to do something.
After watching his beloved Sooners lose Bedlam, Lincoln Riley to USC and players to the transfer portal, he knew he had to make a move.
So after a five year hiatus, he came back to coach them.
“First and foremost, I’m a program guy and whatever I can do to help OU and to support the players, of course, I’m glad to do it,” Stoops said in a statement. “I’ll do everything I can to help them finish the season in a strong and successful way and I look forward to that.
Stoops, 61, will serve as OU’s interim coach in their upcoming bowl game. He’s doing this after being one of the Sooners’ most successful coaches in history. He coached OU for 18 seasons, winning a national championship and having 14 seasons with 10-plus wins during this time. Stoops spent 2021 covering college football for Fox Sports and most recently coached in 2020 for the Dallas Renegades of the XFL.
The relieving news for OU fans? The players seemed to be fired up by this.
“Thank you @CoachBobStoops, real family. Still got another win to bring home..” said OU offensive lineman Andrew Raym in a tweet.
OU officials are excited about this too. While Stoops won’t return as the full-time head coach, OU President Joe Harroz said the team is in “tremendous hands” for the upcoming bowl game.
“Our future is unlimited, and we will undoubtedly find a visionary leader for our next exciting chapter,” Harroz said in a statement. Until then, we’re fortunate to be in the tremendous hands of Sooner legend Coach Bob Stoops. Boomer!”
With a win, Stoops could win his 10th ever bowl game. While the future is uncertain, many players in the program feel reassured by Stoops’ return––using it as motivation for the upcoming game.
“let’s go win this next game,” said OU cornerback Davon Graham II in a tweet.