OU's Bob Stoops, Florida State's Mark Stoops set to face off for first time as coaches
Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops had no clue he was signing up to take on his brother Bob's team when he took the job with the Seminoles.
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"My dad would come up and shake his head. I can't tell what he'd do after that. In today's world, it wouldn't sound so good. It worked for us, let me put it that way."
Outside, Mark never backed down from the chance to impress his big brothers, or the other older kids in their blue-collar neighborhood.
"Mark would do anything," Bob said. "We'd get him on the high dive, he'd do back flips, anything. He was a little bit of a daredevil, too. But I think he was doing it because we were all telling him to do it. A young guy doesn't want to say no."
When it came time to hang out with kids his own age, having older brothers had its advantages.
"When he first started playing Pop Warner, he had been running around with three older brothers and he really understood how to play," Bob recalled. "So he was like Dick Butkus and Walter Payton out there. He'd play middle linebacker and kill everybody. He'd play running back, and he had all the moves. Just because he was so much further along with other kids. I remember just laughing, how good he was at that age."
As he got older, Mark was good enough to follow in the footsteps of Bob and Mike to the University of Iowa, where he too played defensive back.
After college coaching stints at Iowa, South Florida, Wyoming, Houston and then Arizona, Mark landed the plum gig of defensive coordinator at Florida State this past offseason, replacing longtime coordinator Mickey Andrews, who was one of Bob's mentors as a young coach.
Now, the two brothers will meet in Stoops Bowl I.
There won't be stitches this time. But the neighborhood kids will be watching.
And best believe, little brother will be looking to impress big brother once again.