Bob Stoops: How is the college football world reacting to the big news out of Norman?

It’s not hard to imagine what the social media avalanche was like on Wednesday afternoon after the surprising announcement that Bob Stoops was stepping down from one of the elite jobs in all of college football after 18 highly successful seasons.

Those closest to the winningest coach in Oklahoma football history would probably tell you, it’s because of that remarkable run of success that Stoops has decided now is the right time to step aside.

Here is a collection of what people are saying after learning the big news:

“Coach Stoops’ record of success and his legacy at Oklahoma are well documented and firmly established. I was a young graduate assistant at Texas when he took over at Oklahoma. At the time, they were struggling, and he changed that in a hurry. He was driven, passionate and determined to build something great, and he did so at an extremely high level for a long, long time. He’ll be sorely missed at Oklahoma, in the Big 12 and on the landscape of college football” –Tom Herman, head coach at Texas

“It was a surprise, but not a complete shock. Bobby always indicated he wasn’t going to coach forever. There is life after coaching, and once he decided the time was right, he was going to move on. He wanted to go out at the right time, and he feels good about where the program is right now.” —Steve Spurrier, former head coach at Florida and South Carolina and a longtime friend and mentor to Bob Stoops

“Bob did a tremendous job of turning things around at Oklahoma and putting their program back in national prominence. Our rivalry game became a focal point of college football every year and was great for both schools, the Big 12 and college football as a whole. He leaves Oklahoma with a long track record of success and will be remembered as a Sooner legend.” –Former Texas head coach Mack Brown

“To me, it’s like you calling me and saying I’ve had dealings with Russia. Is this fake news?” –Barry Switzer to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach

“Few have done it any better. It was my pleasure to compete against and since cover you and your teams.” –Joel Klatt, former Colorado quarterback and currently a CFB analyst for Fox Sports

“Bob Stoops continues tradition at OU. Bud Wilkinson retired at 47. Barry Switzer resigned at 51. Stoops made it to 56.” —Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports

“It is rare in today’s world that a president, athletic director and head football coach can work together for 18 successful seasons. Bob Stoops stands as one of the premier legendary figures in one of the most storied programs in college football history, yet he is still best identified by his humble nature and team approach that refused to get caught up in stature.” –OU athletic director Joe Castiglione