UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): Oklahoma released a statement officially announcing Bob Stoops’ retirement, effective immediately.
Stoops, who led the Sooners for 18 seasons, will be replaced by current offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. Stoops will remain at Oklahoma as special assistant to the athletics director.
“After 18 years at the University of Oklahoma, I’ve decided to step down as the head football coach,” Stoops said in a lengthy statement. “I understand there has been some speculation about my health. My health was not the deciding factor in this decision and I’ve had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching.
“I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins. The program is in tremendous shape. We have outstanding players and coaches and are poised to make another run at a Big 12 and national championship. We have new state-of-the-art facilities and a great start on next year’s recruiting class. The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players. Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition.”
Below is the original version of this story.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, one of the giants in college football, plans to tell his team this afternoon that he is stepping down immediately, The Oklahoman reported on Wednesday.
Multiple other Oklahoma based news outlets confirmed the news, and Stoops told the Tulsa World his decision is not health related.
In text message, Stoops confirms to me his decision not health related. (Which is to great relief, given his dad's history with heart.)
— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) June 7, 2017
OU officials will name offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley as the Sooners’ new head coach, according to the Oklahoman.
“Great young coach, the program’s in great shape,” the source said. “Good recruiting class. Got a great young coach that anybody would want to have, ready to go. He’s as good a coach as there in America, at this stage in his career.”
Stoops, a Youngstown, Ohio, native who played defensive back at Iowa, was a rising star in the coaching profession when he became Florida’s defensive coordinator under Steve Spurrier. The Oklahoma job is the only head coaching position Stoops, 56, has ever held.
In 18 seasons, Stoops has a staggering 190-48 record, 10 Big 12 titles and a victory in the 2000 national championship game against Florida State.
He was 9-9 in bowl games, and the Sooners finished among the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll four times in the last seven seasons.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Carol and Bob Stoops closed on a $2.25 million home last month. It’s a four-bedroom, 5,500-square foot home in the tony Gold Coast neighborhood.
Riley, also considered an up-and-comer in the coaching profession, inherits a program that returns quarterback Baker Mayfield, a Heisman finalist last season. At 33, he instantly becomes one of the youngest head coaches in the nation.
The Muleshoe native won the 2015 Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant. Last season, the Sooners ranked third nationally in scoring (43.9) and second in total offense (554.8 yards per game).
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