December 1st, 1998. The day the Oklahoma football program changed forever with the arrival of a young up and coming coach from Iowa named Bob Stoops.
I`ve never compared it to other jobs. I`ve had opportunities with other schools, not just Iowa. And this is the one I’ve always had my eye on.'
He also always had his eye on championships...in just his 2nd season stoops brought back sooner magic leading OU to their first conference title in 13 years, then followed that up with this...
'Oklahoma wins the national championship, alright, Oklahoma wins it.'
'Pretty safe to say in a few years we went without a few trophies, we made up for it this year didn`t we?'
Stoops would become the first head coach ever to win all four BCS bowl games along with a national championship. In all, Stoops took OU four national title games. While those didn`t all go his way, the Big 12 usually did. Stoops won ten Big 12 championships. That`s more titles than he had home losses during his tenure.
Winning was never a problem for Stoops. On a cold November afternoon in Manhattan Kansas, Stoops took the kings crown passing Barry Switzer to become Oklahoma`s all-time winningest coach.
'I don`t have time to look at it. It`s something down the road that I`ll reflect and look back.'
In all big game bob won 190 games...he helped produce seven Heisman trophy finalists and two Heisman winners, Jason White in 2003 and Sam Bradford in 2008.
Not only did the six time big 12 coach of the year build a winning program on the field, but literally helped build the program. By selling out every home game in his era, Oklahoma was able to renovate Oklahoma memorial stadium by closing it in complete with brand new facilities and locker room.
It definitely is going to have a big impact just looking at it visually. It will be second to none in the country.
The program did face challenges...quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman JD Quinn were dismissed from the team for being paid for work they didn`t do at big red sports and imports...and more recently stoops had to answer questions about keeping Joe Mixon on the team after he punched Amelia Molitor before playing a down at OU.
Again may have too strong of a commitment to these guys that i recruit. But i always have and believe in them and I believe in that time a young 18 year old deserved an opportunity to redeem himself and to improve from it and to some day possibly be forgiven. If that can`t happen, that can`t happen. That was the intent.
But in the end, that`s not what bob stoops will be remembered for...it`ll be iconic plays, returning a national power to prominence, and sustaining that success for an unprecedented 18 years.
One of my messages was always this. When Oklahoma, I said when I didn`t say if, when we got back to winning championships again to what it`s supposed to be and what it`s always been it would not be because of me. It would be because of the collective effort of everyone. The assistant coaches, the players, the fans, the administration.