Bob Stoops reminds everyone the OU brand is ‘bigger than any one guy’

Bob Stoops has been a busy man since being introduced as OU's interim football coach during a news conference on Nov. 29 in Norman.cover main
Bob Stoops has been a busy man since being introduced as OU's interim football coach during a news conference on Nov. 29 in Norman.cover main /

This past week, while being honored by the Oklahoma state legislature, former Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops took the opportunity to take another shot over the bow at departed Sooner coach Lincoln Riley.

in addressing the Oklahoma House of Representatives this past Tuesday, Stoops said “my first mission” in stepping in as interim head coach immediately following Riley’s departure for USC last fall “was to remind everybody — players, community, everybody at the university — that Lincoln Riley didn’t invent OU football.

“Everybody needed a little wakeup call,” Stoops said. Because they kind of slipped into thinking he did. And I sure as heck didn’t either.”

It was OU Day, as proclaimed by the Oklahoma legislature. House of Representations Resolution 1020 honored Stoops for “a career of service to the Oklahoma community and success with the OU football program.”

Stoops went on to say that he was genuinely excited about the future of Oklahoma football. He reiterated what he has been saying since early December when the news was first made public that athletic director Joe Castiglione was bringing back Brent Venables to fill the position made vacant by Riley’s sudden departure:

"“Brent Venables is absolutely the right guy. The guy has got a track record of success.”"

Stoops cited all the great men who had come before him — head coaches Bennie Owen, Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer (all immortalized in bronze on the south end outside the Switzer Center) — who were responsible for making the Oklahoma brand what it is today.

Wilkinson’s time at OU’s actually laid the foundation for the school’s tremendous success in football following World War II. That success includes college football’s most wins over that time (874) and the best winning percentage among Power Five schools (.772).

"“Bud Wilkinson created the monster that Coach Switzer always referred to, and I had to deal with it for 18 years,” Stoops said."

“And it’s a monster…I am the fortunate one to have been able to be at Oklahoma for all these years, and fortunately they’ve kept me on here for a while so I could step in in moments like that (as interim coach following Riley’s exit).”

During his 18 years at OU, Stoops won a national championship, 10 Big 12 championships and compiled an overall record of 190-48. That included an incredible home record of 101-9. Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium was sold out for every home game in the Stoops’ coaching era.

Stoops concluded his remarks at the state capital by shouting “Boomer!” To which the assembled legislators all together responded, “Sooner!”

A great ending to an unplanned OU pep rally.