Share “Firing to hiring: 9 days”

Modified: August 20, 2008 at 8:23 am •  Published: August 20, 2008
26: After dinner, Castiglione returns to his temporary residence in Norman and flips on the TV. "I remember turning on the late news, trying to find out what was going on in Oklahoma. Well, I had been gone. Here comes this breaking story, ‘We've figured out where Joe Castiglione has been.' They break out one of these maps of the United States like they do for the weather patterns, and they have these dots, criss-crossing the country. I'd have to have the Concord to be all the places they would have me be. It was kind of humorous.”

•Friday, Nov. 27: Back to work in the search. The to-do list: Define or eliminate possibilities.

•Saturday, Nov. 28: The search goes on, but momentum builds, with a second interview with Stoops planned for Sunday in Dallas, this time with OU president David Boren and others involved.

•Sunday, Nov. 29: The interview goes splendidly — "They're blown away,” Joe C. said — and the group agrees it has found its man. An offer is made and they talk deal specifics. Then Stoops puts negotiations on pause when he reveals that he has a meeting with officials from his alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes, the next day. Still, those in the group — six total — feel confident, if uneasy, and return for Norman, only to have stormy weather divert them to a small airport in Shawnee. One of Boren's assistants, who lives nearby, is called to retrieve them. A long day becomes longer with a cramped drive in torrential rain.

•Monday, Nov. 30: After hours of waiting nervously, Stoops calls to tell Castiglione he is indeed their man. Arrangements are made for a press conference in Norman.

•Tuesday, Dec. 1: Amid crimson balloons and the OU pep band blaring "Boomer Sooner,” Stoops is introduced as OU's 21st coach.

By John Helsley

John Blake


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