Sooners officially add Bedenbaugh to staff

NORMAN, Okla. — Head coach Bob Stoops has added at least one of his new assistants, formally naming Bill Bedenbaugh as offensive line coach Sunday afternoon.

"We are excited to welcome Bill and his family to the University of Oklahoma," Stoops said. "Bill is a passionate teacher and a demanding coach who I believe will make an immediate impact on our football team. His track record of developing physical and disciplined offensive linemen makes him an excellent fit for our program.

"Bill is also an accomplished recruiter who will join the rest of our staff in continuing to attract some of the nation's most talented student-athletes to Oklahoma."

As one can imagine, Bedenbaugh is equally excited about the opportunity.

"Our family is thrilled about the opportunity to join Coach Stoops and his staff at the University of Oklahoma," Bedenbaugh said. "I have a great admiration for the championship tradition of Oklahoma football and can't wait to get on the field with our student-athletes this spring. I've admired the Sooners for many years, and possess a great appreciation for the talent on this roster and coaching staff."

A Texas Tech graduate, Bedenbaugh worked as a graduate assistant then running backs and offensive line coach under former OU assistant Mike Leach.

Later, he worked with current defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and linebackers coach Tim Kish when they were all three at Arizona.

"Well, I think that there were so many things pointing in the direction of coming here and taking this job and that was one of them," Bedenbaugh said. "You know, I know Coach Mike Stoops. I know Coach Kish. I've known Coach [Josh] Heupel and Coach [Cale] Gundy for a little [bit]. But I didn't know them extremely well. I knew Heupel a little bit better than Coach Gundy, but any time you come in to a situation, you're moving across the country, it's a new job, it's a new situation, it makes it easier if you're familiar with the people that are around you. So, obviously that played a part in it as well."

Bedenbaugh served as Arizona's offensive line/running game coordinator and then co-offensive coordinator under then-Wildcats head coach Stoops before heading to West Virginia to be offensive line coach.

Now, he'll replace James Patton and Bruce Kittle as OU's former offensive line coaches.

"Well, you know, it's a unique position," Bedenbaugh said of offensive line. "You know, it's the toughest position on the field to play. The guys have the best bond. But with me, I mean, you have to play the position a certain way. You gotta play it tough. You gotta play it physical. You gotta be mean, and you gotta be nasty. And obviously the fundamentals and the techniques, that's important as well, but there's only one way to play O-line and that's what I'm gonna stress to these guys and we're gonna get to know each other and it's gonna be a trust issue.

"They're gonna have to learn to trust me. I'm gonna have to learn to trust them. But I'm gonna coach them hard, and I'm gonna expect them to be great."

This will be his fourth program to coach at in some capacity over the last decade plus.

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