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In the history of the Oklahoma Sooners football team which had its first season in 1895, there have been many highly successful coaches including Barry Switzer, Bud Wilkinson, and Bennie Owen. It is in that class that you will also find Bob Stoops. He is a former football coach who has managed the Sooners to more victories than any other coach. Stoops has also previously worked with teams such as the Florida Gators and Kansas State.
Bob Stoops Bio
It was as Robert Anthony Stoops that the former Sooners coach was born on September 9, 1960, in Youngstown, Ohio. Raised as one of six children, Bob grew up loving and playing football because his father, Ron Sr. worked as a defensive coordinator at Cardinal Mooney High School. That was the same school that Bob went to for his high school education.
Having played for his high school team, Bob Stoops went on to play as a Defensive back for the University of Iowa between 1979 and 1982.
Although one would expect that he would continue playing after leaving college, he decided to toe the path of coaching, just as his father. Interestingly, that is the same path his three brothers, Mike, Ron and Mark Stoops took.
In 1988, Bob’s father complained of a chest pain when he was coaching Cardinal Mooney during a match against rival Boardman. Coincidentally, the defensive coach of Boardman at the time was Ron Jr. who was notified of his father’s ill-health and he went to be by his side. The elder Stoop was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after the game which was won by Mooney, unfortunately, he did not make it. However, he left behind four sons to continue his coaching legacy.
Bob Stoops began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Iowa Hawkeyes football team in 1983. He served in this capacity before being made an assistant coach from 1985 to 1987. In 1988, he moved to Kent State where he remained until 1995, handling different managerial positions. In 1996, he began working for Florida Gators as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator until 1998.
His journey with Oklahoma began in 1999. In his first season, he took the team to its first Super Bowl since 1994 and in 2000, he did not only lead the team to the BCS National Championship but also maintained an unbeaten record in the season. After spending 18 years with the team, Bob Stoops retired with a very excellent record.
Apart from being the only coach to win the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl in the BCS era, he has also made 10 Big 12, becoming the Big 12 coach of the year 6 times.
A statue in his honor has been erected at the Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium.
Why Did He Retire?
After spending 18 seasons with the team, making him the longest-tenured coach in the history of college football, Bob Stoops announced he was retiring from his job to the utter shock of many. Before his sudden retirement in 2017, Stoops, who was only 56, had once told Steve Spurrier, his mentor, that he was going to keep playing until he was 65.
With more successive success than any other coach college football had ever seen, Stoops did not wait to get to that age before he finally quit because of what happened to his father. The fact that his father suffered a heart attack while coaching before he died had always been at the back of his mind and so, he wanted to keep his health in check.
Also, Stoops, whose last game with the Sooners was a Sugar Bowl victory against Auburn, retired to spend some more time with his family.
Family, Wife, Daughter, Son, Brother
As noted, Bob Stoops came from a family of football coaches. While his older brother, Ron Jr. works as an assistant coach with Youngstown State University, his younger brother, Mike Stoops once worked with Sooners as a defensive coordinator, while Mark Stoops, the youngest, is the coach of the University of Kentucky team. He is in his sixth season with the team.
Bob is married to Carol Stoops who worked as a Mary Kay National Sales Director before her retirement. The couple is blessed with a daughter, Mackenzie, and twin sons, Isaac and Drake.