'm a loyal person that way. I felt that I owed them that.”
And nothing more, especially when Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby elected to slow-play the process. Stoops was at or near the top of Iowa's list, but Bowlsby and his interview committee wanted to interview other candidates.
As soon as his Iowa interview was over, Stoops was on the phone to OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. He'd be a Sooner.
"If Iowa really wanted me, it would have been there and present there, too, before the interview,” Stoops said. "It wasn't. So you live and learn.
"Deep down, I truly felt as well that I had done the Iowa thing. I felt, though my wife's from there, I had spent 10 years there. Sometimes, that's enough. And I loved it. I loved the people.
"But it's almost like you're always that kid. It was just time for something different is what my feeling was. And you know what, my wife was supportive. She felt the same way. It's time for something new.”