Former Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops achieved about everything you can accomplish as a college head coach.
He can now add one more prestigious honor to his career in college football. On Monday, Stoops learned he is a member of the 2021 class that is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The winningest coach in Oklahoma football history becomes one of six Sooner head coaches who are in the College Football Hall of Fame. He joins Bennie Owen (1905-26), Lawrence “Biff” Jones (1935-36), Jim Tatum (1946), Bud Wilkinson (1947-63) and Barry Switzer (1973-88). Counting current head coach Lincoln Riley, there have only been 22 head coaches in the history of the OU program.
In 18 seasons as head coach of the Sooners, Stoops won 190 games and lost 48. He posted a 121-29 record in the Big 12, including 10 conference championships. Importantly, Oklahoma was 25-11 under Stoops against the Sooners’ chief rivals, Texas and Oklahoma State.
“Football is the ultimate team game with so many pieces that have to be put together, and nobody can have success by themself,” Stoops said in a news release issued by the OU athletic department.
“From my family to my support staff to my assistant coaches to our administration and to our great fans, I had considerable support at Oklahoma for each of my 18 years and am thankful to everyone who played a role in our achievements.
“Ultimately, though, the dedication and hard work of the players is what wins, and I am so appreciative of all the guys who played for me.”
In the four seasons before Stoops’ arrival in Norman in 1999, Oklahoma was 17-27-1 overall and a dismal 10-21 against Big 12 opponents. The Sooners finished 7-5 in Stoops first season, and the following year, OU went 13-0 and won the school’s seventh national championship.
In 16 seasons at Oklahoma, Stoops took the Sooners to four BCS championship games (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2008 seasons) and on College Football Playoff appearance (2015). Oklahoma made 16 consecutive postseason bowls with Stoops at the helm.
Stoops led Oklahoma to 10 11-win seasons and 14 of at least 10 wins. Between 1999 and 2016, no other college head coach had a many seasons with double-digit wins.
Twice while at Oklahoma, Stoops was named National Coach of the Year and six times he was Big 12 Coach of the Year.
Oklahoma was virtually unbeatable at home during Stoops’ time on the sidelines. The Sooners’ did not lose a game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium until Stoops’ 38th home game, and for his career, Oklahoma was an incredible 101-9 when playing at home. And all 110 home games while Stoops was at OU were sell-outs.
During Stoops’ time as the Sooners’ head coach, OU produced two Heisman Trophy winners (Jason White in 2003 and Sam Bradford in 2008), two Heisman runners-up (Josh Heupel in 2000 and Adrian Peterson in 2004), 38 first-team All-Americans and 83 NFL Draft picks.
Seven of Stoops’ Oklahoma teams finished in the top-five of the Associated Press poll and three more ended up at No. 6.
Stoops is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and he played collegiately as a defensive back at the University of Iowa. He was a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator at Kansas State for seven seasons under Bill Snyder in the early 1990s, and defensive coordinator at Florida for three season under Steve Spurrier before taking the head-coaching job at Oklahoma.
Both the 2020 and 2021 College Football HOF induction classes will be honored at the National Football Foundation annual awards dinner on Dec. 7.
Of the nearly 5.47 million who have played or coached the game of college football in the past 151 years, only 1,038 players and 223 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.