The Iowa connection
Jay Norvell’s return to the OU staff reinstates the Iowa connection that once was so prevalent among Bob Stoops’ coaches. For a month in 2002, Stoops’ staff was awash in ex-Hawkeyes. The Stoops brothers, ex-Iowa safeties. Chuck Long, the Hawkeyes’ great quarterback from the 1980s. Jonathan Hayes, a tight end teammate on those squads. And Norvell.
One by one, all the Hawkeyes left. Hayes went to the Cincinnati Bengals, Norvell to the Oakland Raiders. Then Mike Stoops went to Arizona and Long to San Diego State. Suddenly, the Iowa connection was gone.
Stoops has been criticized for surrounding himself with cronies. People from his past. Two things: 1. many coaches do that; it’s standard procedure. 2. It’s not true in Stoops’ case.
Look at Stoops’ hires in recent years. Kevin Wilson? No connection to Stoops. James Patton? Connected to Wilson, but not to Stoops. Chris Wilson? An OU grad, but long before the Stoops days. Kevin Sumlin? No connection.
In the last five years, Stoops’ only hires who had a history with Stoops were Bo Pelini and Josh Heupel. Pelini grew up with Stoops in Youngstown, and Heupel I assume you know about. Now Norvell again. Seems to me a wide range of coaching backgrounds. And only a very small connection to Iowa.
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