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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > Barry Switzer, Lincoln Riley share same passion as head coaches for Sooners


Barry Switzer, Lincoln Riley share same passion as head coaches for Sooners
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47Straight
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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2017 11:29 pm

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http://www.oudaily.com/sports/oklahoma-football-barry-switzer-lincoln-riley-share-same-passion-as/article_e392f2ea-dde9-11e7-9560-bfef55482d7c.html

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StatesEye
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 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2017 06:15 pm

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“Lincoln is that old soul in a new energetic body,” Washington said.

Concise and very true. The best description I've read of Riley.

IMO, Bob Stoops is the greatest coach to hold the title of Head Football Coach of the University of Oklahoma. I know it's difficult to compare greats that are separated by generations....but that's just the point. The limitations and commensurate elevated competition in the game now are orders of magnitude more challenging to running a consistently winning program as compared to the 1950's, 1970's and 1980's.

Bob also took over a program that was considered by many to be "gone forever" from being one of the top programs in the country, especially after the formation of the Big XII. Heck, even Switzer predicted that Nebraska and Texas would dominate the Big XII shortly after the formation of the conference. At the start of the 1999 season, Nebraska had just won three NC's over a five-year period. Texas was on the rise with the hiring of the everybody-wanted-coach Mac Brown and a couple of top five recruiting classes. Oklahoma, on the other hand, had just completed a decade of futility, humiliation and despair. The previous ten years resulted in a record of 61-50-3 (54.0% winning percentage), with the last five of those years having a record of 23-33-1 (40.4% winning percentage).

The program wasn't in a nosedive. It had crashed-and-burned, with its wreckage scattered across the college football landscape. Some of the most painful games that I remember are.....
    49-10 loss to KSU, 1995
    37-0 loss to Nebraska, 1995
    51-31 loss to San Diego St., 1996
    52-24 loss to Kansas, 1996
    71-23 loss to Nebraska, 1996
    69-7 loss to Nebraska, 1997
    30-7 loss to OSU, 1997
    51-7 loss to Texas A&M, 1997
    34-3 loss to a rising Texas with Mac, 1998
    29-0 loss to Texas A&M, 1998

At the end of this period Oklahoma was battling Baylor to stay out of last place in the Big XII South. Attendance and donations were way down, and interest was fading fast.

Bob Stoops took the head coaching job in 1999 because he thought that this was the University of Oklahoma....one of the jobs you dream of having as an aspiring head coach in major college football. What he did not realize, upon his arrival, was that this program was a tattered disgrace. Bob, himself, tells the story of telling a friend "I think I just ruined my life" after taking over as head coach.

Now, I have to give credit where it's due. Blake recruited some very good talent, and Boren and Castiglione had worked hard to lay the foundation for success by selling the fan base and big boosters that things could be turned around AND with the hiring of Stoops. However, Bob Stoops basically had to recreate, rather than resuscitate (e.g. Fairbanks), OU football. IMO, the situation after the 1998 season was far more dire than after the 1965 season right before the hiring of Mackenzie-Fairbanks-Switzer.

Not counting Bob's first year at OU (7-5), Oklahoma won 81.0% of its games over a SEVENTEEN-YEAR PERIOD. Within those seventeen years, Oklahoma......
    finished 5th or better in the AP poll 7 times
    10th or better 11 times
    15th or better 13 times
    20th or better 14 times
    25th or better 15 times
    Only twice finished unranked
    Played in TEN BCS BOWL GAMES (Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, Rose) with at least one win in each.
    Played in four national championship games and one CFP game.
    Won 10 Big XII Championships (Nebraska 0, Texas 2)...no one would have predicted this in 1999.
    Won 1 national championship

Bob Stoops accomplished the above after taking over a wreck of a program with far greater limitations (NCAA regs) and an incomparably more competitive environment than either Wilkinson or Switzer faced. Yes, I know, Bob is 1-3 in BCS Title games and 0-1 in CFP games. Bob also had incredibly bad SoonerMagic (key player injuries) in all but one of those losses. His record could just as easily be 3-1 BCSTG.....just the way it breaks sometimes.

As great as he was as a head football coach in major college football, he IS even a better human being. His time with children cancer patients is well documented....but still not nearly enough. He sometimes schedules his visits (along with Sooner players) with these children and their families. More often he just drops in....no media, no fan-fair, just Bob on his own time, doing what he can to bolster the courage of families involved in a "fight" that most of us cannot imagine and will never have to face. He knows each patient and their families by name. He's done this since he's been here.

http://newsok.com/article/3287620

http://newsok.com/bob-stoops-quiet-mission-visiting-patients-at-childrens-hospital/article/3614730?custom_click=lead_story_title

And how about this.....after the Moore tornado of 2013. Lot's of high-profile people organized relief efforts to send much-needed supplies to those affected. Bob Stoops did this....
http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/05/bob-stoops-anonymously-aids-with-oklahoma-tornado-cleanup

Bob Stoops deeply cares about his legacy, and although wins and losses are important, for Bob Stoops the most important aspect of his legacy is his positive impact on those he comes into personal contact. His greatest effort is toward making other people better because he is/was part of their life. That's what you hear over and over again from people that know him.

There are many reasons for Bob Stoops' retirement, and we'll never know all of them. However, IMO, I think he realized a "new energy" needed to be injected into the Oklahoma football program. The "young man's" game of recruiting was starting to outpace him. He worked hard to get OU back to national title contending form from the "down years" of 2009-2014. He saw that the team was primed for another run, and that a promising young coach with rare abilities was there to take over. What better way is there to jump start, what is hoped to be, a stellar career for the "new energy" that is Lincoln Riley? IMO, I think Riley needed a great first year because I think it is quite likely there are a couple of disappointing seasons (by OU standards) following this one. Bob thinks Riley is the coach that will get OU to 8 and beyond. To put Riley into the best position possible, Stoops stepped away from another conference championship, enough wins to reach 200 and a possible national championship to make Riley the best he can be. According to Boren, the following was the conversation between Stoops and himself immediately following Stoops' decision to retire.

“You know, this could be a national championship year,” Boren asked Stoops. “Don't you want to be the one to win that national championship?”

“No,” Stoops replied. “The important thing is the program wins it, and we have the right person to be head coach.”

Eventually, Castiglione nodded to Boren, signaling it was time for the president to talk Stoops out of leaving just as he had when plenty of suitors made runs at the coach in the past.

“I found myself saying, ‘Well, Bob, I can't argue with your reasoning,'” Boren remembered Wednesday. “‘I understand. It's the right decision for you personally, but certainly it's a very generous decision in terms of the way you're looking at the program.'”


This last part......"very generous decision in terms of the way you're looking at the program." leads me to believe that Stoops was also very convincing on why it was important for Riley to start THIS YEAR.

From a post Walt made in another thread....http://www.soonertimesbb.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=29902&forum_id=2
I don't recon many other team fans really grasp what happened when Bob decided to resign just two months before this seasons Fall practice began. He gave up a few years contract worth about five million a year, coaching a Heisman winner and another shot at a NC.

The reason he did that was to ensure that no other team would have a shot at hiring Lincoln Riley. You or nobody else can point out where a head coach of one of the bluest of the blue blood programs has ever done that. No one, but Bob Stoops would do it, but he did.

That's just another reason OU fans think so much of Bob Stoops.


Bob Stoops did all of this and he did it "in a great way". Again, in my opinion, he is the greatest of the great coaches at the University of Oklahoma.

Last edited on Wed Dec 13th, 2017 06:19 pm by StatesEye

K2C Sooner
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 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2017 06:54 pm

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Great read States...

[bow]

Cemetery Guy
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 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2017 01:30 pm

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A bit of an aside, but I was poking around on Youtube and watched highlights from the 1999 game against Notre Dame where Brandon Daniels kept running back kicks.  Two things jumped out at me.  First, Josh Huepel broke Cale Gundy's single-season TD record with his fifteenth touchdown pass of the year.  Just as a reminded, this was the fourth game of the season.  Second, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was up in the booth, not down on the field.

StatesEye
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 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2017 01:37 pm

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K2C Sooner wrote:
Great read States...

[bow]


Thanks, K2C. I'm not really sure why I posted this within this thread. I guess the similarities between Switzer and Riley mentioned in the article led my thoughts to similarities between Stoops and the other two greats (Wilkinson, Switzer). It just struck me that there were none as far as the condition of the program when they took over.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2017 05:11 pm

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That article nailed how I feel about Coach Stoops. I love his integrity more than anything, and the winning is pure icing on the cake. When Bob retired, the article states the facts and emotions that I wanted to express. He deserves so much more praise than we gave him when he retired. Where would OU football have been without him? All hail coach Stoops!
:bob:


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