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Oklahoma announces changes on defensive staff

As was widely reported Sunday night, Mike Stoops is officially out as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator.

The program announced Monday morning Lincoln Riley has "dismissed" Stoops, and that assistant head coach/defensive tackles coach Ruffin McNeill will take over as defensive coordinator.

Bob Diaco will slide up from defensive analyst to outside linebackers coach.

"Ruffin has an impressive résumé," Riley said. "That's why I wanted him on our staff in the first place. I have confidence in his knowledge and leadership. Bob has a lot of experience in very good programs and also has a list of accomplishments that will help him step in and make an immediate impact. We are fortunate to have these men in our program. They'll be ready to get to work in new roles right away."

McNeill was Riley's first hire after he was named Oklahoma's head coach in June of 2017; the pair worked together previously at Texas Tech and East Carolina, where McNeill was ECU's head coach and Riley his offensive coordinator.

Diaco was Connecticut's head coach from 2014-16 and has defensive coordinator experience at Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Nebraska, where he coached in 2017.

Stoops served as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator for 12 seasons, split between two stints. He helped the Sooners win two Big 12 titles and a national championship from 1999-03, then returned in 2012 to aid OU to three more Big 12 crowns and two trips to the College Football Playoff.

"I have great respect for Mike," said Riley. "He's a quality football coach, great man and a close friend. It became time for a change in our program and that happens sometimes in football, but we cannot lose sight of the accomplishments Mike had at Oklahoma. He was responsible for a lot of success and deserves the gratitude of everyone associated with Sooner football, not only for his role in the winning, but for coaching with integrity."

Oklahoma is off this week before visiting TCU on Oct. 20.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.