Oklahoma bringing back program legend to coach bowl game
Lincoln Riley is leaving Oklahoma to take the head coaching job at USC, which means he will not coach the Sooners for their bowl game. Fortunately, they will be in the capable hands of a program legend.
Bob Stoops will coach Oklahoma in their bowl game, according to Bruce Feldman and Antonio Morales of The Athletic. Stoops was present on Sunday at a meeting in which Riley informed players that he is leaving for USC.
Stoops, who was Oklahoma’s head coach from 1999-2016, has been helping Riley out with the program in a number of ways. The former national champion helped coached the Sooners last season when Riley was short-staffed due to COVID-19 issues. The two have maintained a close relationship since Riley was the offensive coordinator under Stoops and then inherited his head coaching position.
Of course, there have been plenty of rumors about Stoops coming back to coach Oklahoma on a full-time basis. He’s only 61, which is young by coaching standards. His son Drake is also a wide receiver for the Sooners. However, Stoops recently made it fairly clear that he is not interested in coaching at the moment.
Former Wisconsin coaching legend Barry Alvarez twice served as interim head coach for the Badgers in bowl games after he transitioned from coach to athletic director. He did not stay on as head coach either time, so there is precedent for Stoops to just return as the coach at Oklahoma for one game.