With the shocking news that Oklahoma football head coach Bob Stoops is retiring, President David Boren and others are sharing their thoughts.
STATEMENT FROM OU PRESIDENT DAVID BOREN
"It was with sadness that I learned of the decision of Coach Bob Stoops to step down as head football coach at Oklahoma. Coach Stoops has made a critically important and lasting contribution to the OU football program. He has led to its restoration as one of the top programs in the nation. His success has helped provide the momentum for major new facilities like the improvements and expansion of the football stadium. Because of his unquestioned personal integrity and high standards, he is one of the most admired college football coaches in America.
"His decision to step down at this time was motivated partly by his belief that he has the right successor already in place in the program, Lincoln Riley, and he wanted to pass the leadership on at a time of strength for the program. His decision is typical of his unselfishness and always putting first the best interest of the players and program.
"I personally value him as a person and as a friend. I'm glad that Coach Stoops will remain an active member of our university family and will continue to serve the athletics department and be of help to our new head coach. The departure of Coach Stoops as head coach is a bittersweet time. I agree completely that we have exactly the right person already in place to take the helm. Coach Riley enjoys the complete confidence of the administration and university community. He has the talent and personal character to be a worthy successor to Coach Stoops."
STATEMENT FROM OU VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS JOE CASTIGLIONE:
"It is rare in today's world that a president, athletics director and head football coach can work together for 18 successful seasons. Bob Stoops stands as one of the premier legendary figures in one of the most storied programs in college football history, yet he is still best identified by his humble nature and team approach that refused to get caught up in stature. That's the reason Bob is such a great leader. He has great vision and great accomplishment, but it never changed who he is as a man and a coach.
"Working alongside him has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. Few athletics directors get a coach who better combines success and cohesiveness like Bob Stoops. I can't help but feel somewhat sad today because Bob has been such a constant in my life, and that's why I am so thankful that he will remain with us. He will continue to do great things for OU.
"At the same time, I am thrilled that Lincoln Riley is in position to take over as the head coach. He is widely regarded as one of the brightest minds in college football and there is no question in my mind that he is the complete package. Our program is in very good hands. Lincoln and I have a great relationship and I can't wait to embark on this new era with him. I am sure our fans share my enthusiasm. We celebrate a tremendous legacy today and because of what Bob did here and the coach we have identified, we look forward to our future with great optimism."
STATEMENT FROM CHAIRMAN OF THE OU BOARD OF REGENTS CLAYTON BENNETT:
"On behalf of the Board of Regents, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Bob Stoops for what he has done for the football program at the University of Oklahoma and just as importantly, the school and state at large. From the moment he stepped on campus, Bob has led with dignity and professionalism that is justly admired throughout sports. During his time at Oklahoma he not only built upon our tradition, but moved it forward in a way that has made Sooners everywhere proud. I wish Bob, Carol and their family the best of luck with the next chapter, we are forever thankful for the contributions they have made to Oklahoma.
"Lincoln Riley has asserted himself as one of the brightest young minds in all of college football, and the results over the past two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Sooners speak for themselves. He has embraced the culture of being an Oklahoma Sooner, and I'm looking forward to watching him on the sidelines this coming fall as he leads our team. I want to congratulate Lincoln, Caitlin and their family on this exciting time."