CAMPUS CORNER — We received no official word from Oklahoma on Wednesday about the return of Mike Stoops to the Sooners’ defensive staff. But it’s coming.
Still skeptical? Here’s an interview Stoops did with an Arizona TV station. Good get tonight for KOLD-TV in Tucson, where Stoops spent the past seven-plus years coaching at Arizona.
(On OU speculation, reports)
“Ultimately going back to Oklahoma was pretty much a natural fit for me. Spending five years there with Bob and getting the opportunity to play in two national championship games, it was pretty special. I have great memories of that and hope that we can rekindle some of those old flames and get back to a championship-level team.”
(On being up for a number of jobs after being fired)
“It was exciting and flattering, especially when you felt so horrible about the way things ended (at Arizona). For me, that’s good for your ego, to know teams respect the way your defenses played and respect a quality coach. It certainly lifted my spirits. You know, these were friends and colleagues I’d worked with or against at different times in my career. These were some of the best coaches in the field. That was a great feeling, and it gives you confidence as you move forward. I’ve certainly learned a great deal from the past 7 1/2 years at Arizona.”
(On Ohio State’s defensive coordinator opening)
“I grew up in Ohio. Urban Meyer is one of the top coaches in the whole profession. Ohio State is a place that can recruit the elite players in all of college. So that was very enticing. Like I said, having the opportunity to work with a guy like Urban Meyer was really exciting to me. I got a chance to spend a day and a half down there with those guys.”
“For me, it was about a fit and where I fit in amongst the staff. That’s why people have to let the process work its way out. You have to be able to identify what your role’s going to be at each particular place. In the end, I just felt the most comfortable with my situation, being with my brother Bob and being at Oklahoma with some great friends and some guys that I’d coached with. The whole defensive staff, we will be the exact same as we started, however many years ago when I left. (After) eight years, the same other three guys will be there that I was there through that period of time. So I’m excited to go back and work with those guys.”
“There were a lot of openings. It’s funny; Bob had talked to Urban on the phone. They talked and just kind of had conversation. Bob let him know that I would love to work with him, if the opportunity presented itself. And Kevin Sumlin‘s a guy at Texas A&M that I originally wanted to hire here at Arizona, to be our first offensive coordinator. Here’s the irony of me coming back to Texas A&M. The possibilities were … you know, me and Kevin had talked. It’s difficult, but, again, your family plays a big role in all this. I certainly feel very comfortable in this position and certainly Oklahoma had a chance to win a national championship every time they step on the field. That’s certainly important to me.”
(On time at Arizona)
“I enjoyed my 7 1/2 years. It was a tough time, but I wouldn’t change anything. I wish we would have won more games, and I’m certainly sorry things didn’t turn out better this year for our seniors.”