In the history of the Oklahoma Sooners soccer team, which played its first season in 1895, there have been many very successful coaches, including Barry Switzer, Bud Wilkinson, and Bennie Owen. You will also find Bob Stoops in this class. He is a former football coach who has led the Sooners to more victories than any other coach. Stoops has also worked with teams like the Florida Gators and Kansas State.
Bob Stoops Bio
The former Sooners coach was born Robert Anthony Stoops on September 9, 1960, in Youngstown, Ohio. As one of six children, Bob grew up with love and enjoyment of playing soccer, as his father Ron Sr. worked as a defensive coordinator at Cardinal Mooney High School. This was the same school that Bob attended for his high school education.
After playing for his high school team, Bob Stoops played as a defensive back for the University of Iowa between 1979 and 1982.
Although he was expected to continue playing after leaving college, he decided to follow the coach’s path just like his father. Interestingly, this is the same path that his three brothers Mike, Ron, and Mark Stoops followed.
In 1988, Bob’s father complained of chest pain when he was coaching Cardinal Mooney during a game against his rival Boardman. Coincidentally, Boardman’s defensive coach at the time was Ron Jr., who had learned of his father’s illness, and he went to his side. The older Stoop was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after the game won by Mooney, but unfortunately, he did not make it. However, he left behind four sons to continue his coaching legacy.
Bob Stoops began his coaching career in 1983 as a graduate assistant to the Iowa Hawkeye football team. He held this position before being appointed assistant coach from 1985 to 1987. In 1988 he moved to Kent State, where he held various management positions until 1995. In 1996, he joined the Florida Gators, where he served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator until 1998.
His journey with Oklahoma began in 1999, and in his first season he took the team to the first Super Bowl since 1994, and in 2000 he not only led the team to the BCS National Championship but also held an unbeaten record for the season. After spending 18 years on the team, Bob Stoops retired with a very good record.
Apart from being the only coach to win the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl in the BCS era, he also made it into the 10 Big 12 and was voted Big 12 Coach of the Year 6 times.
A statue in his honor was erected at the Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium.
Why Did He Retire?
After spending 18 seasons with the team, making him the longest-serving coach in the history of college football, Bob Stoops announced his retirement to the complete shock of many. Prior to his sudden resignation in 2017, Stoops, who was only 56 years old, had once told his mentor Steve Spurrier that he would continue coaching until his 65th birthday.
With more consecutive successes than any other coach college football had ever seen, Stoops did not wait until that age before finally quitting because of what had happened to his father. The fact that his father suffered a heart attack during coaching before he died had always bothered him, so he wanted to keep his health in check.
Even Stoops, whose last game with the Sooners was a Sugar Bowl victory over Auburn, retired to spend more time with his family.
Family, Wife, Daughter, Son, Brother
As mentioned above, Bob Stoops came from a family of football coaches. While his older brother Ron Jr. works as an assistant coach at Youngstown State University, his younger brother Mike Stoops once worked for the Sooners as defensive coordinator, while Mark Stoops, the youngest, is the coach of the University of Kentucky team. He is in his sixth season with the team.
Bob is married to Carol Stoops, who served as Mary Kay National Sales Director before retiring. The couple is blessed with a daughter, Mackenzie, and twin sons, Isaac and Drake.