Bob Stoops built an incredible legacy at the University of Oklahoma, as he was widely considered one of the best coaches in college football. Though he hasn’t coached college football since 2016, there are plenty of fans holding out hope that he’ll return.
Prior to becoming the head coach of Oklahoma’s football team, Stoops had brief stints with Florida, Iowa, Kansas State and Kent State.
Stoops had over a decade’s worth of success with the Sooners, owning a 190-48 record with the program. It wasn’t until the summer of 2017 when he was officially replaced by Lincoln Riley.
After spending a few years away from the sidelines, Stoops was ready to lead the Dallas Renegades in the XFL. Unfortunately his time with the franchise was extremely brief due to unforeseen circumstances.
Will we see Bob Stoops coaching at the collegiate level once again? Let’s trace his recent steps and see if there’s a chance he’ll return to the profession that made him a legend.
Did the Oklahoma Sooners fire Bob Stoops back in 2017?
What made Stoops’ departure from Oklahoma so shocking was that he just led the team to an 11-2 record back in 2016. In fact, his final game as the head coach of the Sooners was a 35-19 win over the Auburn Tigers in the AllState Sugar Bowl.
So, what led to Stoops to leaving the Sooners despite finishing the 2016 season with an undefeated record in conference play?
It turns out that Stoops felt like the Oklahoma chapter of his career was over. The former national champion felt comfortable with his prodigy in Lincoln Riley, and the fact that he spent already 18 years with the program made it easier for him to walk away.
When talking to USA Today about his decision to retire, Stoops said “I felt completed. I’d completed 18 years and we’d had great success. I felt like I had done what I was to do.”
There you have it, folks. Stoops chose to retire from college football because he was ready for a new challenge.
Why did Stoops join the XFL?
Early in 2019, Stoops announced that he would come out of retirement to coach the Dallas Renegades in the XFL. He also received control over player personnel with the franchise, which was a nice bonus for the former Oklahoma head coach.
Although it seemed like his coaching career was over, Stoops told the media “My love of football won out.”
Stoops’ tenure with the Renegades unfortunately didn’t last long due to COVID-19. The pandemic forced the league to file for bankruptcy, putting an end to this experiment for Stoops.
This was a huge deal not just for Stoops’ coaching legacy but his wallet as well. Since the Renegades were paying him more than any other coach in the XFL, they owed him a ton of money after going bankrupt. According to Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the XFL owed him exactly $1,083,333.33.
During his time as the head coach of the Renegades, Stoops had a 2-3 record. It would’ve been awesome to see what he could’ve done with the team in a full season.
Is there still a market for Bob Stoops as a head coach?
Whether or not Stoops will return to college football is still unclear. However, it’s pretty evident that multiple Power Five programs would love to make him their next head coach.
Last year, the Florida State Seminoles had interest in Stoops as their next head coach after parting ways with Willie Taggart. He didn’t have any interest in taking the job, at least that’s what Steve Spurrier said. It’s worth noting this was before Stoops’ stint with the XFL.
Florida State ended up choosing Mike Norvell as their head coach for the 2020 season, but that doesn’t mean Stoops’ name won’t resurface on the coaching market.
As a matter of fact, Stoops has been linked to the Tennessee Volunteers over the past few weeks. The 2020 season has been so disappointing for Jeremy Pruitt’s squad that fans in Knoxville might just want him gone.
Tennessee hasn’t been a contender in a long time, but Stoops could quickly turn the program around. There wouldn’t be any concern as to how he’d fare in the SEC either since he spent three years with the Florida Gators.
Zach Ragan of A to Z Sports Nashville believes the Volunteers should fire Pruitt if they can absolutely land Stoops. He’s the type of head coach that could turn around a program like Tennessee. Unfortunately though it’s unknown if Stoops will take the job while his son, Drake Stoops, plays wide receiver at the collegiate level.
Where is Drake Stoops playing college football?
Bob Stoops and his wife, Carol Stoops, have three children: Drake, Mackenzie and Isaac. Believe it or not, Drake is quite the football player.
Drake was listed as a three-star recruit in 2018, finishing his high school career with 201 catches for 3,390 yards and 39 touchdowns. Though he didn’t make much of an impact in his first two seasons with the Sooners, he’s found a nice role for himself this year.
In five games this season, Stoops has nine receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown of his collegiate career came against Kansas State.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 26, 2020
Stoops should have the chance to catch plenty of touchdowns from Spencer Rattler as long as they’re on the same page. Even if he doesn’t, it’s still cool to see Drake carry his father’s legacy at Oklahoma.
Sure, being the son of Bob Stoops has its perks, but Drake needs to earn his playing time at Oklahoma. It’s safe to say he’s done that in 2020.
What has Bob Stoops said about returning to college football?
Many analysts believe that Stoops might wait for his son’s college career to finish before he decides to dip his feet back in the water. Regardless, he’s made it known that he won’t slam the door shut on his return.
“Well you never know what the Lord is going to bring ya,” Stoops said when discussing a potential return to college football, via Saturday Down South. “Everybody wants you to define your life at every age. At 50, they wanted me to know what I was going to do the rest of my life. And at 55, and now at 59, everyone thinks you gotta…ya know, who knows what I’ll be doing next year or the year after. You don’t know what you’re going to be doing next year. And the good Lord is the only one who knows.”
One thing is for sure, college football is far more entertaining when Bob Stoops is on the sidelines.