They wanted him gone.
Fans have short fuses and even shorter memories. They forget what happened a week ago much less a season ago.
A decade ago?
That's like ancient history.
Which makes this hiring of Heupel all the more interesting.
Even though Stoops has always promoted from within, this is the first time he has anointed one of his former players as a coordinator. The fact that Stoops picked him to call plays instead of Norvell, a former college teammate who has play-calling experience, speaks to his belief in Heupel.
No doubt Heupel showed great composure on the field and aptitude for the game during his playing days. He read defenses. He called audibles. He seized momentum.
But despite that, he will have rough times calling plays; every offensive coordinator does.
He will face criticism. There will be difficulties. There will be doubts.
How will he handle it?
No one can know for sure, but here's a little history on Heupel. He received no big-time scholarship offers coming out of high school, decided to go to Weber State where he tore his ACL and lost his starting job, then transferred to a junior college in the middle of nowhere Utah.
Two years later, he was riding on those linemen's shoulders and celebrating a national championship.
Heupel overcame difficulties and doubts to become a Sooner legend.
Now as the Sooner playcaller, he'll likely need to do the same.