Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!
Lincoln Riley spoke at a meeting for the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City on Tuesday, and there he opened up about national perceptions of conferences and the biggest change heading into the 2019 season — the defensive coaching staff. The Oklahoman’s Ryan Aber wrote about the very subject, and you should check it out.
Riley says he has placed his complete trust in his new DC Alex Grinch, along with the two new defensive assistants Roy Manning and Brian Odom. In fact, the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners says knows exactly what being on the other side of this situation feels like. His predecessor, Bob Stoops, also brought him in back in 2015 and gave him full reign to create his vision. I’d say it’s paid off pretty well up to this point.
In his article, Aber highlighted something else that Riley focused on, that being defensive recruiting. If you recall, last summer during Big 12 Media Days, the young head coach wasn’t shy about how the Sooners were going to improve on defense. He pointed to recruiting back then, and he hasn’t changed his tone today. With the 2019 recruiting cycle in the books, it’s apparent that the staff’s attention is on bringing in the level of talent that can rival the offensive side of the ball.
In so many ways, Lincoln Riley resembles the man he took over for nearly two full years ago. Both he and Stoops not only carry themselves similarly, but the parallels of how they each run this program are striking, to say the least. Assembling the right supporting cast around them is the first step, then letting them do what they do when they get here comes next. Overall, it’s been a winning recipe with plenty more left to improve upon.
Now for today’s Hot Links! Bob Stoops is always welcome in OK, Patty Gasso recalls her most memorable championship, Major Applewhite links up with Nick Saban and more!
- The rescheduled and relocated game between Oklahoma and Dallas Baptist gets underway today at 3 p.m. CT at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Tickets are still available if you’d like to come check out the 3-0 Sooners protect their home turf. You can also find other ways to catch the action on the diamond within the tweet below.
- In the last 20 years, Bob Stoops has become an honorary Oklahoman. The Ohio native and Iowa alum can always call the Sooner State his home, and not simply because he’s part of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame class of 2019, writes Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World.
- Softball coach Patty Gasso is joining Stoops as part of this year’s OK Sports Hall of Fame class, and she recently sat down with the Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto for an interview. She was asked several questions, including if she, as a California native, feels like an Oklahoman, and which of her four national championships stands out in her mind.
- Rutgers OL grad transfer Jonah Jackson, who has narrowed down his choices to Oklahoma and Ohio State, will likely be making his decision fairly soon, and Ohio State folks are reportedly getting the impression that things are going in OU’s direction. Being able to bring in a veteran lineman for 2019 would be major for the Sooners, who have plenty of OL talent but are in need of depth and experience.
- On Tuesday, former OU defensive line coach (1999-2012) and All-Big Eight linebacker Jackie Shipp was the new DL coach for Jay Norvell at Nevada. Norvell, of course, spent some time in Norman as OU’s WR coach (2008-14) and co-OC (2011-14).
Around the Sports World
- Former Houston head coach Major Applewhite is reportedly rejoining Nick Saban’s staff as an offensive analyst. In 2007, Applewhite served as Saban’s first OC in Tuscaloosa.
Some late night football news: Major Applewhite is joining the Alabama staff as an analyst, per sources https://t.co/xqegsOBNN9— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) February 20, 2019
- Now this is something you don’t hear every day. P.J. Fleck was hired to coach Minnesota roughly 14 months after Jerry Kill stepped away (with a bit of Tracy Claeys in between), and so far he’s moving the Golden Gophers’ program in a positive direction on the field. However, there’s apparently some bad blood between Fleck and the former coach, as Kill explains in this interview.
Very strong comments from former @GopherFootball HC Jerry Kill about current HC P.J. Fleck when he joined Big Ten Today with @ESPN_Schick & @OfficialAJHawk.— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) February 19, 2019
You have to hear this!!
- Leading into Super Bowl LIII, it was rumored that TE Rob Gronkowski could retire following the conclusion of the game. Recently, Gronk told teammates that he wants to win another Super Bowl ring before he’s done.
- Speaking of retirement, UFC legend Georges St-Pierre, aka GSP, is hanging up the gloves and calling it a career. The MMA star was relentless in the octagon for years, but Father Time is undefeated.
Georges St-Pierre, arguably the greatest MMA fighter ever, is walking away from the sport. More: https://t.co/et0sHYM4ud— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 20, 2019
- Every time I see one of these kinds of clips, I always imagine if it happened in a Game 7 of an NBA playoff game. It’s still cool to see, regardless, but on a stage like that, the house would absolutely be brought down.
Stick to Sports!
- Country music icon Dolly Parton says her husband of 52 years, Carl Thomas Dean, has seen her perform “a time or two more” than once. Also, he doesn’t go out of his way to listen to her songs. It’s nothing personal, and their marriage is going great, he’s just more of a Led Zeppelin kinda guy.
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