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Today’s interview just formality, AD suggests

By George Schroeder Published: December 17, 2005
NORMAN - Jeff Schemmel held the door open, allowing Chuck Long to pile several bags onto the lobby floor. Then, Schemmel dropped an unintentional pun.

Long leaves in splendor, not shame, for his efforts
Stoops won't discuss replacement

"It looks like you packed for a long stay, said Schemmel, San Diego State's athletic director.

Schemmel meant part of it. He had flown into Max Westheimer Field just moments earlier Friday afternoon, on an errand to fetch his new football coach.

Several sources told The Oklahoman on Thursday and Friday that Oklahoma's offensive coordinator had been offered the job, and that an announcement could be made as early as today. Long declined comment at the airport, and Schemmel would not confirm Long's hiring.

But the athletic director suggested today's interview was a formality.

"Everything looks good, Schemmel said. "We're only bringing one guy in.

And the guy's wife, of course. Lisa Long embraced Schemmel when they were introduced.

Moments later, the Gulfstream IV jet, owned by San Diego Padres owner John Moores, a San Diego State booster, lifted off - bound for an airport north of San Diego.

Bound for Long's future. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a news conference has been scheduled at San Diego State for this afternoon, shortly after a team meeting. There, the 42-year-old former quarterback is expected to be named head coach, replacing Tom Craft, who was fired Dec. 5.

And although OU coach Bob Stoops was cautious, saying nothing was official, he said Long was ready to be a head coach.

"If that's what coach Long thinks is best for him and his family, we're all for him, Stoops said. "He's done a great job here. So we're excited for him.

Stoops declined to address what Long's departure might mean for OU. Stoops would not say how he might fill Long's position, or whether Long might coach the Sooners in the Holiday Bowl.

As Long's plane lifted off at 4 p.m., the Sooners were beginning practice across town. Afterward, Stoops said the offense functioned well under the control of co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, tight ends-special teams coordinator Kevin Sumlin, running backs coach Cale Gundy and receivers coach Darrell Wyatt.

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Stoops’ lieutenants

Chuck Long becomes Bob Stoops’ fourth coordinator to become a major-college head coach:

  • Mike Leach, OU offensive coordinator, 1999, is 48-27 in six years at Texas Tech.

  • Mark Mangino, OU offensive coordinator, 2000-01, is 18-29 in four years at Kansas.

  • Mike Stoops, OU defensive coordinator, 1999-03, is 6-16 in two years at Arizona.


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