Did a ‘backlash’ end the prospects of Alabama’s Mike Stoops coming to join Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian in Austin?
The purported hiring of Mike Stoops as Texas linebackers coach apparently caused a headache, and not just for the writers that covered what became a massive game of ‘telephone’ in a short period.
Turns out, per AL.com’s Matt Zenitz, the hire of Stoops to come to Austin was so locked in that Stoops was saying his goodbyes and preparing to come to Austin with his wife to look for a place to live.
So what happened? Zenitz, from what he could piece together, found there was a ‘backlash’ against Stoops’ hiring in Austin, though his reporting doesn’t make it clear where that ‘backlash’ was coming from.
But, on Friday morning, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian — who had worked with Stoops for the past two seasons in Tuscaloosa with the Alabama Crimson Tide — called his new hire and told him he had to withdraw the offer. This came a few hours after reports circulated that Sarkisian hired Stoops. In fact, Sark went to Twitter to dispute the reports.
Per Zenitz’s reporting, Sarkisian didn’t use the word ‘backlash.’ But, multiple sources he talked to use that word.
A report in 247Sports.com used the same word — ‘backlash.’ Thing is, no one is saying where the ‘backlash’ came from.
But, if you know football in Texas, you know that it isn’t easy for Longhorns and Sooners to get along. And Stoops, of course, worked for the Sooners for several years as their defensive coordinator, crafting defenses that stymied the Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry game. He also presided over the 2018 Sooners defense, the one that allowed former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger to account for five total touchdowns in a 48-45 loss. Shortly after, Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley fired Stoops.
So, was this a change of heart by Sarkisian? Or did he find out one of the harsh realities of coaching the Longhorns?
Stealing coaching talent from the best team in the country is one thing.
Stealing coaching talent that used to coach for the Oklahoma Sooners? That’s something else entirely.
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