OU Co-Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops is among the finalists for the Arizona Head Football Coaching job. Stoops has made it along with four others for a second round of interviews, which will begin on Sunday. Stoops' competition is Johnnie Lynn (New York Giants Defensive Coordinator), Ricky Hundley (Former Arizona All-American and current assistant coach with the Cinncinati Bengals), USC Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow and current Interim Head Coach Mike Hankowitz.
Stoops is still considered by many to be the front-runner for the position and many sources in Arizona believe that Stoops is the only real contender among the final five. Some believe that the other four is a mere smoke screen before Stoops is announced Tuesday or Wednesday to be the head coach.
As it is, there will be five interviews and when there are that many interviews going on all kind of things can happen. One thing is for certain, if Mike Stoops does get the job at Arizona he will still work as the Co-Defensive Coordinator in the Big 12 Championship game. After that he will work with the Sooners on a marginal basis, but he will still be involved in the Sooners' bowl game.
"I am flattered and happy that Arizona thinks enough of me to bring me back for a second interview," said OU Co-Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops after Thursday's practice. "However, right now I am totally concentrating on our next game against Texas Tech and I am not going to worry about the Arizona job until after that game on Saturday. I am very flattered to get a second interview with the Arizona search party and I look forward to seeing them on Sunday."
This will be Mike Stoops' first opportunity to go through a formal interview process, but to get some advice on what it will be like all he has to do is ask big brother Bob, who wowed Joe C. with his interview.
"Mike is in a good position by getting a second interview with Arizona," said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops. "It means they liked you the first time and that is always a positive. He will be asked many of the same things that he answered in the first interview and a few different things, because there will probably be some different people at the interview process this time. It will probably be with different people or more people, but the interview is always positive. As long as Mike just acts like Mike then everything is going to work out for him."
"Like I said, people that want to report otherwise — anybody in the community can make an educated guess that someone can get a job," Bob Stoops continued. "If the person gets the job then they say ‘Oh, I told you so.' But if they don't get it then they just blame it on a source. In reality, Arizona is still working on it and we will see what happens, because nothing is settled yet."
Mike Stoops will fly to Southern California on Sunday to meet with representatives At Arizona. From what I know most of the interviews will take place in California. By Tuesday or Wednesday of next week we should have a very good idea if Mike Stoops is going to be the next coach at Arizona. And right now, without question, he is the front-runner.
REPORT: Stoops to interview with Arizona Sunday
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