CANDIDATE PROFILES: In-depth look at Stoops

This is the second installment in the list of candidates for Florida's vacant head coaching position. We'll go through the list and feature the coaches we understand the University of Florida Athletic Association has expressed in interest in taking the job. Today we focus the spotlight on Bob Stoops.

Bob Stoops

He achieved unbelievable success at Kansas State, a school where football had hardly been discussed without the need of a stiff drink. The Wildcats defensive units became renown for their aggressiveness and playmaking ability. Their '95 group led the nation in total defense and had four defensive backs named to the All-Big 8 Conference squad.

Stoops accepted the opportunity to lead the Florida defense under Coach Steve Spurrier in 1996, and led a fiery Florida defense that was one of the nation's best during his two-year tenure. Safety Lawrence Wright was named the winner of the 1996 Jim Thorpe Award. The Gators were the '96 National Champions. While at Florida his defenses took eight turnovers into the endzone.

Stoops began his head coaching career at Oklahoma in 1999 taking the Sooners to a 7-5 record. Always one to learn quickly, Stoops corrected any mistakes, leading Oklahoma to an undefeated 13-0 record and the National Championship. His 2001 team went 12-2, including a 10-3 Cotton Bowl victory over Arkansas. The Sooners again finished 12-2, with a 34-14 Rose Bowl victory over Washington State. The 2003 Oklahoma team went undefeated in the regular season before losing to Kansas State 35-7 in the Big 12 Championship Game and dropping a 21-14 decision to LSU in the Sugar Bowl.

Furthermore, in the six seasons completed in the Stoops era he has had 14 Sooners earn All-American status. Quarterback Jason White won the coveted Heisman Trophy in 2003. Under Stoops, Oklahoma is back among the most feared football powerhouses in the country.

Accolades-

  • Presently complied a 64-11 (.853) record as a head coach
  • One National Championship
  • Has led Oklahoma to a bowl berth every year as a head coach, including three BCS games.
  • 14 All-Americans in just six years.
  • One Heisman Trophy Winner
  • Two-time National Coach of the Year
  • Ranked in Top 25 Polls throughout his stint at OU with the exception of 10/6/2000
  • 22 weeks as the #1 team in the nation in six years

Strengths-

  • Among the top recruiters in the country
  • Sound coaching philosophies offensively, defensively and special teams
  • Surrounds himself with top assistants
  • Galvanized the Oklahoma family-bringing the past and present together
  • A proven developer who can build the Florida program
  • A no BS guy

Weaknesses-

  • Had aspirations which took him out of the Sunshine State

Why a Florida move might be best served now-

  • Looks better in Florida blue than Oklahoma red
  • Challenge- a fresh challenge for a young guy (44) who has reached the Mecca with a National Championship, a shot at a second last season, and a run this year.
  • Recruiting within Florida keeps him very close to the family
  • "The Swamp"
  • The ever challenging SEC
  • The opportunity to beat Phil Fulmer, Mark Richt, and Nick Saban…every year
  • Beautiful wife Carol and family. Face it, beautiful people belong in Florida
  • Daughter MacKenzie not yet in high school
  • Carol can sell May Kay Cosmetics by the pallet to wipe out the wrinkles of aging Florida sunworshippers who now opt for skin instead of leather
  • Trade spring and summer tornadoes for September hurricanes
  • Fresh Florida seafood
  • Weather-trade bulky snow shovel for little plastic beach shovel
  • Oklahoma is just OK…Florida is the spring break capital of the world
  • The Beaches
  • Lawrence Wright's smile surrounding you on a more regular basis

Why not Florida?

  • The Foley Factor. Does Stoops regard Foley as a liability?
  • Comfort at OU vs a semi-new beginning at UF

For all who say that Stoops would never leave Oklahoma, I'll leave you with this. In the mid 90's, a good friend of Steve Spurrier was asked when he thought Spurrier might leave Florida. He replied that Spurrier wouldn't leave Florida after his first national title, he would do it after his second. Spurrier believed the 2001 Gators should have won a national title, which would have been his second. The Head Ball Coach also knew that the time to test his system in the league was at hand.

Spurrier's friend said that Steve wanted want to leave the program on rock solid ground with a pair of national championships. The challenge would have been met. Why couldn't a young, assertive Bob Stoops feel the same?


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