Stoops excited about addition of Pelini

Stoops says the hiring of former Nebraska Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini (pictured left) will help Sooners continue their great tradition on defense. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

NORMAN, Okla. - In a move that has been expected since the hire of Bill Callahan as Nebraska's Head Coach last week, Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops announced Saturday that former Husker interim Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini will fill the coaching vacancy on the Sooner staff left by the departure of Mike Stoops.

"We are excited about having Bo join us," said Stoops Saturday afternoon. "He will come in and replace Mike (Stoops) as Co-Defensive Coordinator and secondary coach. Coach (Brent) Venables will be Co-Defensive Coordinator and move into Mike's Associated Head Coach position."

"I have total confidence in Brent Venables, Coach (Bobby Jack) Wright, Coach (Jackie) Shipp, and now with Bo joining them it will be a great fit. I believe that we will continue to do awfully well. We will continue to build on the great tradition that we have already established defensively."

Pelini coached in the NFL for three different teams from 1994-2003 when he was hired by Frank Solich to run the defense at Nebraska. Under Pelini, the Husker defense flourished finishing the season ranked 11th in total defense (297.15 yards per game) and second in scoring defense (14.5 points per game).

"Bo has great experience through the years, not only in the Big 12 a year ago, but with coaching d-backs and linebackers," Stoops said." "He was with the (San Francisco) 49ers at the time when they won the Super Bowl. He coached Deion Sanders, Eric Wright and some of those guys. He comes in and it is a great fit."

Pelini, who along with Stoops was born in Youngstown, Ohio, played four years as a defensive back at Ohio State from 1987-1990. Pelini served as graduate assistant coach at Iowa in 1991 and spent a year as an assistant coach at Stoops' high school alma mater (Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown) in 1993 before joining 49ers as their secondary coach in 1994.

"We have been long time personal and family friends, and that relationship has been built for a lot of years," Stoops said. "However, more than that he comes in with great credentials. He will help us continue our great tradition of being a great defensive football team."

Stoops said Pelini is expected to be in Norman sometime next week.

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