NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops called his brother's firing at Arizona “unfortunate” and said he would again hire him as an assistant if he could.
Mike Stoops was let go Tuesday after 7 1/2 seasons at Arizona. He was 41-50.
“It always hurts when you're close to someone and this happens,” Bob Stoops said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. “It just kind of hit a perfect storm. He had a bunch of injuries early, actually before the season even started. He was kind of playing short-handed.”
The Wildcats were 1-5 this year and had lost 10 consecutive games against FBS opponents. Two of those losses were to Oklahoma State, including a Sept. 8 loss in Stillwater. Arizona also faced Oregon and Stanford early in the year.
“So, you kind of get beat up some more,” Stoops said. “You get demoralized and it's just kind of hard to recover.
“I know he gave it his heart and soul; that's for sure. That's all you can do.”
Mike Stoops was a co-defensive coordinator on his brother's OU staff from 1999-2003. He coached a defense key in the 2000 national championship.
Would Bob bring Mike back in some capacity?
“Sure. I mean, if I've got enough money to,” Stoops said. “He's going to have a lot of opportunities. I know that.”
Referring to his brother, himself when he was at Florida and even current OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Stoops said you have to carefully consider job opportunities “or you'll end up like my brother.”
“There's a reason some schools haven't had success,” Stoops said, declining to say which schools courted him as a defensive coordinator on Steve Spurrier's Florida staff.
On TCU's addition to Big 12:
“I just think for this whole region, it's really a positive. I think we've really made some excellent strides here, and I appreciate the work of President (David) Boren and all the (Big 12) presidents and what they've been doing over the last several weeks to improve our conference.
“These kinds of things are all showing good faith that we're all working together and can build a strong conference, that we can trust one another and work together with one another.
“When you look at it, the strength of the conference is still here.”
On 10 or 12 teams for Big 12:
“Either way's fine with me. As long as you have an automatic BCS berth, it's positive. … With the right teams, 12 would be great.”
On whether underclassmen should go pro:
“I talk year-round about the advantages and disadvantages and the whole process of it. Our guys get tired of hearing about it. … To me, it's all about understanding the process.
“In the summer, they work with some people that can advise them and talk to them about it. I don't mind that agents want to talk to them in the summer. We orchestrate that and do it through our office, so it's done properly – as opposed to behind the door somewhere. It's really just about being smart about it.”
On advice for Landry Jones' 2012 stock:
“It's not up to me to do that. I'm not going to advise him whether he should or shouldn't. I want him to really make an educated (decision) and have a full understanding of all it entails. For instance, look at the history of the draft and how many guys went out as quarterbacks that had another year, compared to the guys who didn't.
“Who knows this system and game better than Archie Manning? His two sons were pretty special. They didn't go out early. It's worked out pretty good for them. Seems to have worked out pretty good for Sam (Bradford).”
On perceived SEC bias:
“What everybody keeps bringing up is they've won the last championships, five championships. Until (someone else wins one), they're going to say they're the best. Whatever conference wins one, then they'll be the best from them on. Maybe. Or maybe not. We'll see how that goes, if it ever happens. I'm not much on it. I've got too much to do working on Kansas.”
On Brandon Williams' late fumble vs. Texas:
“I don't expect that, young or old. But that's some of why he doesn't play more than he does, as well as being assignment-responsible. There's a lot he needs to keep improving on.”
On kick return woes in past few years:
“I feel this group has really covered well all year. The average is under 20 yards. That's pretty positive. Whatever's happened other years, I don't much care, because those guys aren't playing on this team. … (Against Texas) it's pretty obvious on tape that our positioning on blocks was pretty poor. They hit it.”
On practices this week, guarding against similar letdown to post-FSU:
“I believe we're past that. We understand it takes a really sound, businesslike approach. Really good teams – championship-type teams – get better throughout the year.”