IN THEIR WORDS
On Saturday night, Bob Stoops will coach his 200th game at Oklahoma. It is a significant mark, and with this milestone, the coach and his bosses discuss why this has been such a good fit for both sides.
David Boren, OU president
“Coach Stoops has been a fit because he shares the values and high standards of the university. We have a common desire to help make a difference in the lives of all of our students, including student-athletes.
“In addition, he has a strong commitment to athletic excellence and to continue Oklahoma’s heritage of a national championship level football program.
“I can jokingly say that I want to keep him around because I can now leave the football games when they end instead of waiting for the crowd to disperse so they will not shout at me to, “Fire the coach!” A more serious answer would be that, to me, Bob is far more than a football coach. He has become a close and valued friend, and he seeks to be a true teacher to his players, not only about football but about life.”
Joe Castiglione, OU athletic director
“The characteristics and beliefs we had in Bob Stoops when he was hired are still, and will always be, relevant to his legacy of success as a head coach, especially here at Oklahoma.
“Obviously, the years of experience make him and us stronger. Conversely, the extraordinary consistency of success begets high, if not unreasonable, expectations that Bob continues to meet. He strategically adapts or adjusts as the situation dictates, but his commitment, his values, his clear understanding of the type of leader he needs to be for his players and our university, and his blue-collar, middle-America work ethic and toughness continue to serve us well in an ever-changing world.
And he does so with great humility. He embraces all that OU is about from the tradition of success, the importance of placing others in a position to win and his appreciation for all who support the program. Bob’s competitive edge, while sometimes misinterpreted, is a cornerstone. All of the great ones have it. He wins at the highest level and does it the right way.
“The man is going to be recognized as one of the great coaches, teachers and mentors this sport has ever seen … not just one of the winningest. (President Boren and the regents) have seen this in him throughout that time and have also valued his loyalty and the recognition of how rare it is in our business today. Bob Stoops is part of a rare breed in today’s world. We have always felt fortunate he is leading our young men.”
Bob Stoops, OU football coach
“Well, there’s a lot of reasons. Mostly, and I’ve said it a lot, because of the leadership here through Joe Castiglione and his staff and the support and their vision to continue to push our program forward. As you can see by the finished athletic dorm and the improvements coming to the stadium ... we continue to invest in our student-athletes and push forward. That has helped us achieve as coaches.
“I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had a great run of great assistant coaches and we’ve recruited great student-athletes that have been fun to coach. Some have overachieved. All of it together has just fit.”