Shoop gets long-promised contract

LAKE FOREST — The Bears' coaching staff is signed up through the 2004 season now after offensive coordinator John Shoop received his long-promised new contract on Tuesday.

The final year of Shoop's existing deal was voided and he was presented with a new three-year deal extending through the 2004 season. Shoop is expected to officially sign the deal at training camp in Bourbonnais Friday.

Shoop had said in February he was promised by general manager Jerry Angelo in December that his contract would run the same length as head coach Dick Jauron's deal.

When Shoop finalizes the deal with his signature, all the Bears' coaching staff, general manager Jerry Angelo and team president Ted Phillips will have contracts which expire following the 2004 season.

The frequent subject of fan scrutiny for his conservative philosophy, Shoop can point not only to his new deal but numerous statistics as evidence of his effectiveness.

For one, the Bears are 15-4 in regular-season games since Shoop took over play-calling chores following Gary Crowton's departure for BYU with three games left in the 2000 season.

In Shoop's first full season as offensive coordinator, the Bears finished 11th in scoring after placing 28th in 2000. They finished No.1 in sacks allowed and tied a team record with eight lost fumbles.

Shoop will continue to call plays and also serve as quarterbacks coach. Some thought was given in the off-season to hiring a quarterbacks coach to work under Shoop, but Jauron decided against it. The Bears' coaching staff is set for this year with the only changes being Gary Moeller replacing Dale Lindsey as linebackers coach. Lindsey took the San Diego defensive coordinator position. Also, Chuck Bullough moves to defensive line assistant from linebackers assistant.

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