So what’s to come? Lincoln Riley has now taken over as head coach of the Sooner football team. And while he is definitely not hard to look at, it won’t be the same as spotting Bob’s visor from the stands.
As a Sooner fan, I think I can speak for most by saying this news took us by surprise. When Riley was hired 2 years ago, it was always rumored he would take over after Bob stepped down. However, most assumed that step down wouldn’t be for 5 or 6 years. While the Sooners have had a few incidents when it comes to the players, no one thought it would send Bob out so soon. There are also rumors of health issues going on for Stoops. Or that he wanted to be off in order to watch his twin sons play college ball. However, in Stoops’ press conference, he stated it was none of the above reasons.
Bob Stoops announced on Wednesday that he is leaving the program because of ‘good timing’. He stated he never wanted to coach into his 60’s and the program is at the perfect point for him to step down. With Riley knowing the players, having experience and being loved by Sooners across the board, he was the best candidate for the job.
Is this the end of Stoops? I doubt it. While he may not be a head coach, I do not see him letting go so easily. With more conference championships than home losses, I do not see Stoops going anywhere fast. Living only a few miles from campus, I have a very good feeling the players will be seeing him at practices and games more than they think.
While this was surprising and heart shattering, there are two positives.
1- Lincoln is an amazing, young coach. Big Game Bob gave OU 18 years. Stoops won the National Championship his first season, let’s hope Riley does the same.
2- With Bob Stoops leaving the team, all we can hope is that he takes Mike Stoops right on with him.
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