PLANO, Texas — Sitting before a crowd of Texan Sooner supporters Thursday, Bob Stoops annexed their state.
“We truly, all of us, as we recruit in every sport we have on campus, we look at this as our hometown,” Stoops said at the Sooner Caravan at Gleneagles Country Club.
“Dallas is every bit just like Norman. This is our home state, and it'll always be that way.”
Even so, Stoops made clear the annual game in Dallas isn't at the top of his priority list.
OU play-by-play announcer Toby Rowland asked Stoops, men's basketball coach Lon Kruger and women's basketball coach Sherri Coale questions submitted by OU Club of Dallas members.
One question for Stoops: “Anything better than hanging half a hundred on Texas?”
Stoops responded, “Yeah. Championships.”
As an example, Stoops pointed to last season. The Sooners beat Texas 55-17 at the Cotton Bowl, but lost three games, failed to win the Big 12 championship and had a disappointing overall season by the fans' standards.
“I didn't hear anybody patting me on the back last year,” Stoops said. “We beat 'em 55 to what, but we didn't win the championship. Where is everybody?”
But, he said, that's exactly how it should be.
“I've said this since I walked in here in '99, our program is not defined by beating them,” he said. “Are you kidding me?
“We beat them and don't end up winning the championship, I could care less.
“We want to win championships. And that's it. If they're a part of it, then that's good.”
Stoops, Kruger and Coale signed autographs and chatted with Sooner fans Wednesday at the second of three planned Caravans this summer. The first was Wednesday in Tulsa, and the last will be Aug. 1 in Oklahoma City.
Senior defensive back Demontre Hurst, men's' basketball players Andrew Fitzgerald and James Fraschilla and women's' basketball player Whitney Hand also took fans' questions from Rowland.
But the biggest crowd-pleasing answer came from Stoops when he talked about the importance of winning championships.
“I've never wavered from that,” Stoops said. “We don't measure ourselves by (beating Texas). We measure ourselves by winning championships. We've won a bunch, and we hope to win a bunch more.”