On Friday afternoon, OU and Coach Stoops announced the official hiring of Bruce Kittle to the OU football coaching staff. This news was really no surprise, you'll remember CCM was on this early, but with the announcement came some unexpected news. Now that Kittle is officially a part of the staff, Stoops decided to reassign some of the offensive coaching responsibilities. Kittle will coach the tight end position as well as share offensive line coaching responsibilities with current o-line coach James Patton (who is now obviously not going with Kevin Wilson to IU). Kittle will coach the offensive tackles while Patton will be responsible for the inside spots. An interesting decision by Stoops, but Kittle is a former offensive tackle so he does at least have a history with the position. Current OU RBs coach Cale Gundy, will now take over the fullbacks (previously Wilson's responsibility) which I think bodes well for Trey Millard's continued involvement in the OU offense.
As to the much maligned (at least late in the season) special teams, Stoops will continue to handle the primary coaching duties and the staff will provide a collective effort to pick up the slack. So nothing changes there from 2010, which given the struggles on kick coverage late in the season can't make Sooner fans ecstatic about no change to the status quo.
Stoops' quotes on Kittle's hiring:
"I have great confidence in Bruce as a teacher and competitor," said Stoops. "He is a terrific motivator, he understands the game very well and has great intensity and focus.
"He was an offensive captain as a tackle on our (1982) Rose Bowl team at Iowa so I’ve known Bruce’s quality for a long. Over this year, I’ve watched him interact with our players off the field and it’s obvious that he understands how to build relationships."
Stoops also said that Kittle won’t have a learning curve with the Sooner offense.
"He has sat in on meetings this year and knows our offense," he said. "He’ll blend in very well and I expect our offense will continue as one of the strongest in college football.
"This is the best way to manage our personnel. It changes our coach to player ratio and I am excited about that."
Kittle acknowledges the opportunity of coaching at a school like OU:
"This is a dream come true," he said. "The opportunity I had here over the last year was a great one, but my heart was to be on the field. The good news is that I don’t have a lot to learn in terms of how we do things and I feel like I can mesh well with this staff. And I am honored to be on a staff the caliber of this one."
Kittle, who also is a lawyer and ordained minister, had been in coaching on the high school level in Iowa for two seasons before moving to the OU staff. Over the last year, he has managed the program’s on-campus recruiting efforts.
"I’ve had a lot of great learning and professional experiences and I feel privileged to put those to use at Oklahoma, which is obviously at the pinnacle of college football."