Carol Stoops remembers when Bob got hired at Kansas State. It was their third stop in three years, having gone from a volunteer position at Iowa to an assistant spot at Kent State for a year before landing in Manhattan.
Carol, then a math teacher, knew they were living the percentages — coaches on average stayed in one place less than three years — so she didn’t see much reason to spend a bunch of money at the house. She didn’t put up drapes, much less decorate.
Then another coach’s wife stopped by.
“You need to plant yourself wherever you go,” she told Carol. “You put up drapes. You make a home a home as if you’re going to be there forever.”
Her thinking was forever changed. Everywhere that Bob has been since, Carol has thought of it as their forever home.
Still, it’s a little crazy in the coaching profession that they have managed to call one place home for 15-plus years. When they arrived in Norman, daughter Mackie was a toddler and twins Drake and Isaac were still in utero. Now, Mackie is a high school senior and the boys are just starting high school.
“We just take life as it comes,” she said. “We always have. We’ve never looked for the next job or the next place. If you live like that in our world, you can just never be happy anywhere because you’re always looking for the next.
“But looking back now ... it’s amazing that it happened this way. I just consider us all incredibly fortunate.”
There are lots of other folks who feel the same about the Stoops clan having stayed in Norman all these years, too.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.