Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware that Bob Stoops stepped down as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners this past Wednesday. Since then, there’s been plenty of discussion regarding his motives and future plans. Did Bob just get tired of coaching? Did he just feel it was the right time to hand over the reigns to the upstart coordinator? Was he just in need of a break? What will he do in the future? We can go on and on about this for a very long time... so let’s do it!
Will he ever coach again?
I would stay out of coaching if I were in Bob Stoops’ position, but Bob Stoops and I are two very different people. For instance:
- Bob Stoops is the winningest football coach in the history of the University of Oklahoma. I am a blogger who is blocked on Twitter by former ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad.
- Bob Stoops has won a national championship and every major bowl game. I caught two fish during a recent six-day fishing trip.
- Bob Stoops has twin sons who have both been offered football scholarships. I have a golden retriever who refuses to fetch.
- Bob Stoops was an All-Big Ten selection in his final season with the Iowa Hawkeyes. I was banned from ordering Pizza Shuttle in my final year at Oklahoma.
- Bob Stoops has been called the greatest coach in the history of the Big 12 conference. I was once called Andy Milonakis by a bunch of girls at a party in 10th grade.
Honestly, he’s been working his ass off for quite some time (coaching is an incredibly demanding profession), and he’s poured his heart and soul into OU football for 18 years. He deserves to kick back, relax and play a bunch of golf.
Would Bob consider taking another college job? If so, where?
Notre Dame: The Stoops clan is an Irish-Catholic family from the Midwest. Therefore, Notre Dame would certainly make a considerable amount of sense for Bob should the job become available in the near future (which seems likely unless Brian Kelly rebounds in a big way from his 4-8 season).
Would they take him? Yep, I believe so, but high admissions standards and a strict code of conduct make the job a bit more complex than most. Add in the fact that the job comes with about as much pressure as any in the land, and it doesn’t look quite as appealing. However, if he’s ready to get back out there seven months from now, it may be tough to turn down. Short of the NFL, this could be the most enticing challenge for a competitor like Stoops.
Iowa: Kirk Ferentz seems to have an infinite amount of job security, but he’s starting to finally get up there in age just a bit. He certainly isn’t an “old” football coach at 61, but he may be getting close to the point where he just feels like taking it easy. If he were to retire in the next few years, Bob Stoops would be at the top of the list (Iowa grad Bret Bielema would be a fit stylistically and would likely be their backup plan if he’s still keeping his head above water when the time comes). He’d experience a lot less pressure at Iowa than he dealt with at Oklahoma (or what he would deal with at Notre Dame). Couple that with the fact that Iowa is his alma mater, and I don’t think too many OU fans would be salty about him taking that gig. In fact, I’d be nothing but happy for him.
Florida: The University of Florida has pursued Bob Stoops on multiple occasions since he left for OU following the 1998 regular season. If the program doesn’t take the next step under Jim McElwain sometime soon (it won’t), they could come calling again in the not-so-distant future. Would he finally bite this time? My guess is that he wouldn’t. Florida is one of the best gigs in the country, but I just can’t picture him taking a job in the SEC.
What about the NFL?
The duties and responsibilities for an NFL coach are often in sharp contrast to what’s seen at the collegiate level. On top of that, the chain of command is much different. For 18 years, Bob had an incredible relationship with the same president and AD, so would he be prepared to deal with any potential front-office drama? Bob doesn’t strike me as the type of person who would put up with micromanagement, so he would definitely need to wait for the right opportunity. In other words, the Dallas Cowboys likely wouldn’t be a great fit.
On the other hand, the ever-changing recruiting landscape at the collegiate level obviously wouldn’t be something he’d have to deal with, so there’s that. Not that he necessarily struggled with it or disliked it, but it had to be exhausting for him. No more of the Twitter machine. No more Snapchat. No more Tom Herman.
A jump from college to the NFL is unsuccessful more often than not for head coaches, but would that be the case for Bob? I’m really not sure, but I do know that a bad stint in the pros isn’t necessarily a death sentence for the career or legacy of a college coach. If you think you can handle the stress, why not give it a shot?
Will he ever give broadcasting a try?
I sure as hell hope so. I don’t necessarily think he’d be great in a studio role, but I think he’d do a phenomenal job up in the booth. I can picture him as a less-intense version of Jon Gruden for college football. Does anybody even bother asking Gruden if he wants to go back into coaching anymore? People did at first, but everyone eventually wised up and realized that he has a super-sweet gig. Bob obviously wouldn’t pull in Gruden money, but it seems like a great way to go nonetheless.
So, if you had to guess, what do you think Bob’s future holds?
Bob Stoops will...
This poll is closed
Stay retired from coaching, enjoy his made-up athletic department job and play a bunch of golf
Eventually take a college coaching job
Eventually take an NFL coaching job
Go into broadcasting