Believe it or not, there was a lot more news to the Bob Stoops press conference Tuesday that essentially served as a State of OU address.
Here are some notable tidbits from the 40-minute press conference.
Gundy won’t be the man
The search for OU’s offensive coordinator is on, but you can cross off name before you start. The answer is not going to be OU running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy.
Gundy has been the guru behind OU’s running backs for a long time, and this could have been his opportunity to try to move up the ladder.
It won’t happen this time.
“I have a lot of trust in Cale,” Stoops said. “What I’m targeting, though, is someone with a system already in place. I do believe that will be something in Cale’s future, yes. Will it happen this time? No. I believe he is a guy that can be and should be a coordinator. I don’t feel that’s the right time for what I want to do right now.”
Gundy and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh are the two offensive coaches who are absolutely sitting pretty right now with nothing to worry about.
Mixon, Shannon set to return
The press conference wasn’t just about addressing coaching changes. Stoops announced David Smith and Taylor McNamara will be transferring from the program, but it looks like running back Joe Mixon and linebacker Frank Shannon should be returning.
“Each have done everything at this point – I guess Frank hasn’t – he has to go through this semester,” Stoops said. “But as long as he continues on the same path, he is expected to be back.
“Same with Joe. Joe has done everything and had excellent grades through the semester. He has done everything that has been asked of him. I’m sure once we are back in school that will be reviewed again, then something will be decided.”
Shannon’s one-year suspension is expected to end in May, and he did all he could in trying to help OU land Dallas Skyline four-star middle linebacker Anthony Wheeler.
Unfortunately for OU, Wheeler picked Texas instead of the Sooners last week.
Stadium renovations update
OU announced plans for major stadium renovations last summer, but it’s going to need help from donors and supporters to get there.
One way to get that support is by making sure everybody is excited about the direction of the program, and Stoops tried to convey that during his message. He’s trying to let everybody know things will be turned around at OU.
“I know our administration is doing all they can to continue to move forward with it all,” Stoops said. “I have confidence that as time goes, it will all come together.
“We have built a lot here facility-wise the last 16 years, and we have a great plan for the future here with all the stadium renovations.
No surgery planned for Shepard
A lingering concern has been the health of wide receiver Sterling Shepard. The junior announced he was coming back last week, but he was unable to play an entire game healthy after injuring his groin Nov. 1.
He’ll have a lot of time to rest the groin in the next couple of months, and as of today, Stoops said no surgery is planned.
“Not right now,” Stoops said. “That isn’t something they are talking about so hopefully he is able to make the improvement that he needs. Our doctors and trainers do a great job and everyone knows that. They will figure out the right solution.