Cleaning house

NORMAN, Okla. — The madness started less than 36 hours ago and it was only just beginning then.

First, centers/guards coach James Patton accepted a new position with Kevin Wilson at Indiana—though he was ultimately fired by Sooners head coach Bob Stoops and OU before doing so—Monday morning.

"We appreciate the contributions that James made to our program over the past seven seasons," Stoops said. "He was a valued member of a staff that helped us win five Big 12 championships. We wish James and his family the best in this opportunity with Kevin Wilson at Indiana."

West Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh will be his replacement, sources have confirmed with Sooners Illustrated.

But the madness didn't stop there.

Early Tuesday morning, reports surfaced that defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp was also let go, which sources additionally confirmed.

One of OU's four 2013 defensive tackle signees, Charles Walker, quickly expressed his disappointment in the move.

"Ya because I thought he was gonna coach me but changes are always made but that will not change how I'm gonna work," Walker texted to Sooners Illustrated.

Still, the madness didn't even stop there.

According to sources, tight ends/tackles coach Bruce Kittle has now been relieved of his duties next season.

That means three coaches have been canned in less than two days time, an action Stoops had committed only once in his previous 13 seasons before this past year when he got rid of Willie Martinez.

In fact, only co-offensive coordinators Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel, running backs coach Cale Gundy and defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright remain from the staff just 13 months ago.

It's a situation that, after having gathered all the information and reading the signs, actually doesn't seem as alarming as it really is.

That's because at Bob Stoops' signing day press conference, he wouldn't confirm or deny any reports of coaching changes.

"I never [speculate about that]," Stoops said. "How do you speculate that or how do you [talk about that]? It's not something that I ever talk about publicly and year to year things happen on every staff. So, we'll see where it goes."

In years' past, Stoops would have shot down any rumors if they were false; as it was, he let them linger.

As far as replacements, there are a couple names out there for Shipp that make sense.

One is Colorado defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo, who worked for seven years under current OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops as his D-line coach when the two were together at Arizona.

Another is Washington State's Joe Salave'a, who also worked under Stoops at Arizona.

A third is former OU lineman Calvin Thibodeaux, now coaching at Tulsa.

Kittle's likely replacement at the time is uncertain.

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