Oklahoma takes the stage for Big 12 media days Tuesday afternoon, but the Sooners dropped a bit of their own news in the morning.
Head coach Bob Stoops announced offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks have both been promoted to assistant coordinator positions.
Bedenbaugh will now be offensive line and assistant offensive coordinator, while Cooks is defensive backs coach and assistant defensive coordinator.
It was stated in the press release that this will change absolutely nothing in terms of the play-calling made by Lincoln Riley (offense) and Mike Stoops (defense).
"Bill and Kerry have done an excellent job helping develop our offense and defense," said Stoops in the release. "I wanted to recognize their significant contributions and help facilitate their advancement in this profession. They are deserving."
Bedenbaugh is entering his fourth year with the Sooners, and the offensive line roster is almost completely now all the guys Bedenbaugh has recruited since being in Norman.
After doing a fantastic job of making it work with the players recruited originally by former coaches James Patton and Bruce Kittle, it’s all on Bedenbaugh now.
The Sooners ranked No. 4 nationally in scoring, No. 17 in passing and No. 22 in rushing. OU started a pair of freshmen at the tackle positions in left tackle Orlando Brown and right tackle Dru Samia.
Cooks’ ascension has been even more rapid than Bedenbaugh with Cooks only going into his second year as the defensive backs coach.
He was vital in the turnaround of the group last year. After a rough-and-tough 2014 season, Cooks was able to get the secondary back to playing championship football.
Stoops didn’t mention recruiting in the release for Cooks, but anybody who follows the Sooners knows how huge a role he has played in transforming the mentality OU has been using on the recruiting trail.
Two of OU’s six Scout 300 prospects for the 2016 class were recruited by Cooks in cornerbacks Parrish Cobb and Jordan Parker.
Cooks has put in the work in a major way for the 2017 and 2018 classes with four combined Scout 300 commits heading into the season with Robert Barnes, Tre Brown and Justin Broiles for 2017 and Jordon Austin for 2018.
The secondary for OU is considered to perhaps be the strongest unit of any for the Sooners entering the 2016 season, highlighted by cornerback Jordan Thomas and safeties Ahmad Thomas and Steven Parker
How big was the turnaround in 2015? Cooks’ crew helped the Sooners limit opponents to under 203 passing yards per game, fewest in the Big 12. The group was responsible for 17 of OU's 20 interceptions in 2015, a number that ranked second in the conference and eighth in the country.