As with most coaches that step away with seemingly a lot of good years left in the tank, the moment Bob Stoops announced he was stepping away back in June of 2017, there was plenty of chatter that, being in his upper 50’s, he’d come back for the right opportunity.
Well according to a report from Benjamin Albright, who covers NFL news, Stoops is exploring a comeback to coaching with the XFL.
When Stoops decided to walk away, able to hand of the program in outstanding shape to rising star Lincoln Riley, he was making over $5.5 million per year. In retirement, Stoops noted that he’d enjoy retirement in Chicago, where they recently bought a home. In the two years under Riley’s guidance, the program has made back-to-back trips to the College Football Playoff and two Sooners quarterbacks have brought home Heisman trophies.
Stoops went 190-48 in his 18 seasons leading the Oklahoma program, with a national title in year two in Norman, capping off a perfect 13-0 season in 2000. He’s the only head coach in the BCS era to have won the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. Also worth noting, his coaching tree is extremely impressive, with guys like Mike Leach, Chuck Long, Kevin Sumlin, Mark Magino, Josh Heupel, and Lincoln Riley working under him at one point or another in his career.
With the XFL start on the horizon, and the league targeting accomplished, big name coaches like Stoops, they seem to be trying to create a buzz like another upstart league.
The Alliance of American Football, which is set to kickoff their inaugural season just after the Super Bowl ends, made some splash hires with their head coaches and other staff members that created quite a buzz as the league was getting up and running. The Orlando franchise lured Steve Spurrier out of retirement, the Memphis team landed Mike Singletary, and Mike Martz (San Diego), Mike Riley (San Antonio), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Rick Neuheisel (Arizona) are a few other names football guys will recognize. Also, Hugh Freeze had agreed to be an offensive coordinator in the league before college play calling opportunities came calling, and of course, Freeze ultimately landed the head coaching job at Liberty.
At this point, Stoops looking at a return to football with the XFL is just a tweet, but if the XFL were able to lure a guy like Stoops out of retirement to coach in their league, it immediately makes their product a whole lot more interesting.
Had several interesting conversations in the last 24 hours suggesting that former Oklahoma HC Bob Stoops may be looking at getting back into coaching, with the new XFL.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 26, 2019