The reason: results.
Golloway took over a program that was scuffling in the Big 12. From 2001-04, the Sooners failed to win 40 games and twice finished with losing records. They looked destined for another poor finish when coach Larry Cochell resigned amid controversy over racially insensitive remarks and Golloway took over midway through the 2005 season.
But Golloway rallied the Sooners, and a team that was 7-11 at one point in league play made the NCAA Tournament.
It was the first of eight tournament appearances for Golloway's Sooners. Only once did they fail to make the tournament.
Their overall record: 346-181-1.
This season marked the program's fifth consecutive 40-win season.
Granted, Golloway may not have won as much or as big as some people would've liked — losing series to Oklahoma State and Texas always stick in crimson-and-cream craws — but you can't argue with the big-picture results, the total number of 40-win seasons and NCAA Tournament trips.
Add the fact that OU doesn't have the greatest facilities to lure recruits — we'll call them adequate — and it makes the results all the more impressive.
Results were what caught Auburn's eye.
“We wanted to hire a coach who was a proven winner,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said during Golloway's introductory news conference.
The Tigers absolutely got one.
The Sooners may hire themselves a great replacement for Golloway. Joe Castiglione might find a coach who takes the program to new heights and becomes beloved in the Sooner Nation.
But the new guy will have his work cut out for him. He'll be following a coach who always got results.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.