OU football: Mike Stoops says coaching staff is one of Sooners' strongest in a while

Over the past two offseasons, five assistant coaches have been replaced. The newcomers have proved exemplary, both on the field and the recruiting trail.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 16, 2014


photo - University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) football Associate Head Coach Mike Stoops talks about  the 2014 recruiting class in the Adrian Peterson Meeting Room at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) football Associate Head Coach Mike Stoops talks about the 2014 recruiting class in the Adrian Peterson Meeting Room at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Save for an unexpected twist, Oklahoma will return an entire full-time football coaching staff intact next season for the first time since 2009.

And based on defensive coordinator Mike Stoops' remarks on national signing day, that's a great thing for the Sooners.

“This is the strongest staff we've had in a while,” Stoops said. “These guys have done a great job. Everybody comes together. Everybody just helps one another, and that's been key to our success here in the last month.

“Just in the last year, we've changed the whole vibe of Oklahoma football.”

Over the past two offseasons, Sooners coach Bob Stoops has replaced five assistant coaches. Former defensive coordinator Brent Venables took the same position at Clemson, and Willie Martinez, James Patton, Jackie Shipp and Bruce Kittle were all let go.

Bob Stoops has never publicly called those four changes what they were — firings — an obvious sign of how difficult those decisions were for him.

Still, the coaches Stoops hired to replace them have proved exemplary, both on the field and the recruiting trail.

“Sometimes change is part of it,” Mike Stoops said. “We've changed four coaches in the last two years. We've added … three new quality control coaches, a couple new GAs.”

Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Jay Boulware all were impressive during their first season in Norman, each dealing with their own depth issues about as well as they could have.


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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