Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is retiring after 18 years in Norman, the only place that the 56-year-old has been a head coach. Although the news comes as a surprise, there’s a chance Stoops simply felt that it was time to hand over the keys to offensive coordinator, Lincoln Riley, who will be his replacement.
A listing of Stoops’ accomplishments reveals how successful of an Oklahoma head coach he was. It also brings his sudden retirement into a light that makes a little more sense.
This alone is pretty baffling to consider:
At OU, Bob Stoops won 10 Big 12 titles and lost just 9 home games in 18 years.— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) June 7, 2017
It gets even bigger when you look further at some of those numbers.
For the last 17 seasons, Stoops’ Oklahoma teams have stood out among fellow Power 5 schools. Under Stoops, the Sooners led all P5 schools in a number of categories including: victories (183), home winning percentage (.914), and total touchdowns (1,016). Sum it all up, and OU ranked second in the nation in overall winning percentage (.810) and conference winning percentage (.817). He went 190-48 over his 18 seasons.
His accolades speak for themselves:
- Is the winningest coach in Oklahoma history by 33 games over Barry Switzer
- Had been the longest-tenured FBS head coach at the time of his retirement, just days ahead of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, who will shortly pass him
- Led the Sooners to a school-record 18 consecutive bowl berths
- Took Oklahoma to a school-record 10 Big 12 titles
- Guided OU to eight or more victories each of the past 17 seasons, the longest active streak of any FBS head coach
- Got OU to more wins during his tenure than any other Power 5 team
- Won a national championship and each BCS bowl game once, which nobody else did
- Never had a losing season
- Had 14 seasons with 10 or more wins out of his last 17 years
- Reached 100 victories faster than any coach in college football history
- Had 21 wins against AP top-10 teams and 11 victories against top-five teams
(H/t his Oklahoma bio for conveniently having most of these)
- This is pretty impressive too:
Bob Stoops coached 238 games at Oklahoma - and remarkably only lost consecutive games 3 times in 18 years— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) June 7, 2017
- So is this:
Stoops vs. Big 12— Max Olson (@max_olson) June 7, 2017
BAY 15-3, OSU 14-4, TTU 13-5, ISU 12-0, KU 12-0, KSU 11-3, A&M 11-3, TEX 11-7, MIZ 8-1, CU 6-2, NEB 6-2, WVU 5-1, TCU 5-2
There was also the whole “Big Game Bob” factor throughout his career
The nickname, originally coined for his ability to win in bigger games early in his tenure, turned into a bit of a way of mocking Stoops for how his teams played in high-stakes games as his career went on. First, we’ll start with some of his bigger wins. In 2000 and 2003, he led the Sooners to a BCS national championship. He was also able to win BCS bowl games with the Sooners in 2001 and 2002 in the Rose and Cotton Bowls.
In 2004, Oklahoma lost to USC in the BCS title game, and that was followed by back-to-back Fiesta Bowl losses in 2006-07, including the unforgettable Boise State upset by a sneaky Statue of Liberty trick play:
A 48-28 loss to West Virginia in the next Fiesta Bowl was followed by a BCS Championship loss to Florida in 2008. But Stoops got on the right side of “Big Game Bob” toward the end of his career, with a win over UConn in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl and then by beating No. 3 Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. Add the 2015 Orange Bowl loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff and the win over Auburn in last season’s Sugar Bowl, and he pretty much breaks even between the two.
Stoops’ retirement makes sense, really
Stoops said his decision to retire does not have to do with his health. And when looking at his long career, he should feel pretty accomplished as a head coach, given everything that he’s been able to do at Oklahoma. Aside from forfeiting a shot to win another national title, Stoops retirement, although it came sooner than expected, isn’t too much of a surprise. Given how confident he is in Riley, a young but proven college coach, Stoops gets to ride off into the sunset on his terms.
After the career he’s had — and it was a hell of a good one — you can’t fault him for that.