Oklahoma football: OU offensive coordinator job has often led to a head coaching job

Mike Leach was the first of several Bob Stoops offensive coordinators who was hired to lead his own program. The trend appears likely to continue with Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell; the two say they aspire to be head coaches someday.
by Jason Kersey Modified: December 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm •  Published: December 23, 2012


photo - Former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach talks to a fan during a book signing at a Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in Lubbock, Texas. Leach says his book is more about his career than his firing because he started writing it before he was dismissed amid accusations he mistreated a player with a concussion. (AP Photo/The Avalanche-Journal, Miranda Grubbs) ORG XMIT: TXLUB102
Former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach talks to a fan during a book signing at a Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in Lubbock, Texas. Leach says his book is more about his career than his firing because he started writing it before he was dismissed amid accusations he mistreated a player with a concussion. (AP Photo/The Avalanche-Journal, Miranda Grubbs) ORG XMIT: TXLUB102

NORMAN — In December 1999, Oklahoma's players were upset to see Mike Leach — another one of their coaches — leaving Norman.

Bob Stoops, who'd just finished his first season as the Sooners' head coach, explained to the disappointed Sooners, though, that Leach becoming Texas Tech's head coach was a good thing.

“Leach got the job after eight months, and all the guys didn't know how to feel about it,” Stoops said. “They were so used to losing coaches because they lost, they thought it was a bad thing.

“I said, ‘No, this is a good thing. We did so well they want to hire one of our guys. Get used to that.'”

Leach was the first of several Stoops offensive coordinators who was hired to lead his own program, and the trend appears likely to continue with Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell. OU's co-offensive coordinators both say they aspire to be head coaches someday.

Heupel, who in 1999 had just finished his first regular season as Oklahoma's quarterback, was reportedly a candidate for Louisiana Tech's head-coaching position earlier this month.

He declined to discuss any specifics regarding his future, but did say Louisiana Tech has “a great administration.”

“At some point I'd like to be a head coach,” Heupel said. “That's a goal of mine. Obviously I'm extremely happy and excited to be a part of this program and the direction we're headed.”

Louisiana Tech hired Skip Holtz, so Heupel appears settled at Oklahoma for now. Norvell seems likely to stay put in Norman, too, despite his name being mentioned for a few openings.

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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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