Big 12 News

Bob Stoops Has Message for Sooners Recruits, Players

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma

Bob Stoops will hit the recruiting trail tonight as the Oklahoma Sooners’ interim head coach, and he has a message for those recruits and current Sooners players.

The program is going to be just fine.

“When I arrived here on Dec. 1, 1998, there was something to be concerned about,” Stoops said at a press conference on Monday. “The program hadn’t had a winning season or been to a bowl game in four years. Two years later, we were 13-0 and won a national championship. This place is in a hell of a lot better shape than it was on Dec. 1, 1998. This job is going to attract the best in the coaching world and they’re already hitting Joe up.”


Stoops is taking over on an interim basis in the wake of the resignation of Lincoln Riley, who resigned on Sunday to take over the USC Trojans. Stoops did not speak like a coach that was going to take over on a permanent basis.

“I’m going to be here as long as they need me as they find their new head coach,” Stoops said.

Castiglione followed by saying “we already tried.”

Stoops admitted that he would be hitting the recruiting trail tonight, doing whatever possible to keep the remainder of the Sooners’ highly regarded 2022 Class warm until athletic director Joe Castiglione makes his hire.

“I think it’s great,” Stoops said about getting back on the recruiting trail. “My wife is glad to get me out of the house.”

Stoops spoke directly to the fan base and asked them to give his former boss just a little bit of time.

“You’ll see this is bump in the road,” Stoops said. “There isn’t one guy that is bigger that the program — coach (Barry) Switzer, myself, or Lincoln Riley. The players are the program. The players throughout the decades. That’s the program. I’m getting in the Hall of Fame because of them.”

This will be a busy time for Stoops. He will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December. Stoops will be a part of Fox Sports’ pre-game show for the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday.

In the first 24 hours since Riley announced his departure from Oklahoma, at least a half-dozen recruits have decommitted from the program, and quarterback Spencer Rattler has announced his entry into the transfer portal.

Riley touchdown down in Southern California on Monday to take his new job.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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