NORMAN — Bill Bedenbaugh met his wife, a born-and-raised Oklahoman, through a former OU football standout, making the family's second cross-country move since early 2011 seem like a perfectly natural one.
Bedenbaugh officially joined Oklahoma's football staff as offensive line coach, Sooners coach Bob Stoops announced in a Sunday news release.
“Bill is a passionate teacher and a demanding coach who I believe will make an immediate impact on our football team,” Stoops said in a statement.
Bedenbaugh, who spent the last two seasons as West Virginia's offensive line coach, replaces James Patton and Bruce Kittle, both of whom were fired last week.
Unlike Patton and Kittle, who split offensive-line coaching duties the last two seasons, Bedenbaugh will be responsible for the entire group.
He coached four seasons at Arizona under Mike Stoops before his West Virginia stint; before that, Bedenbaugh spent seven years on a Texas Tech staff that included now-West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen and Seth Littrell, a former OU fullback.
Through Littrell, Bedenbaugh was introduced to Maryde Connor, a Tahlequah native, Oklahoma State graduate and now his wife.
“There are very few jobs in America that Bill would've left West Virginia for,” said Bo Connor, Maryde's brother who lives in Tulsa. “He's very close with Dana, and Dana's a really good family friend.
“The opportunity to coach at the University of Oklahoma, and the fact that family is nearby ... he couldn't pass it up.”
Bedenbaugh's hire — at least in part — was due to his reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters. Oklahoma offered dozens of scholarships to 2013 offensive-line prospects, but signed just three — two of which were junior-college transfers.
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