Bob Stoops, who was the longest-tenured head football coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, has stepped down as Oklahoma’s coach.
Stoops led the Sooners since 1999, with 14 double-digit win seasons, and went 11-2 in 2016, winning 10 in a row to finish out the year. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, 33, will take over as head coach. In his 18 seasons, Stoops posted a 190-48 record.
Oklahoma played in 13 Bowl Championship Series/New Year’s Six games in his tenure, including the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Boise State. The Broncos won 43-42 in overtime.
“I want to give them credit because I thought they executed it in a really good way,” Stoops said of the tying score in the final seconds on a hook-and-ladder. “It’s just the circumstances, the way it happened. They hit it perfect.”
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The Sooners went 6-7 in those 13 big-time bowls, earning Stoops a nickname that has been embraced by both those who were fans, and those that weren’t: “Big Game Bob.”
Stoops’ statement: “After 18 years at the University of Oklahoma, I've decided to step down as the head football coach. I understand there has been some speculation about my health. My health was not the deciding factor in this decision and I've had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching. I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins. The program is in tremendous shape.
“We have outstanding players and coaches and are poised to make another run at a Big 12 and national championship. We have new state-of-the-art facilities and a great start on next year's recruiting class. The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players. Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition.”