OU football: Bob Stoops hiring ranked 4th in the last 25 years
OU hired Bob Stoops 20 years and six months ago. Pretty good hire, all things considered. So good, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg ranks it as the fourth-best college football coaching hire of the last quarter century.
Hard to argue with the top two: Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. Give Bama credit, but Saban was a proven commodity. Give Clemson even more credit; Swinney was not at all a known commodity. In fact, several years ago, before a Clemson-Bama national title game, I wrote about Clemson’s hire of Swinney, which came courtesy of former OSU athletic director Terry Don Phillips. You can read that column here.
ESPN’s full list of the 25 best coaching hires of the last 25 years can be read here.
Southern Cal’s Pete Carroll is ranked No. 3, just above Stoops, and you can’t argue too much, though I think I might. Both took over lackluster programs with fabulous histories. Both won at the highest of levels, with Carroll having a slight edge in dominance. But Stoops lasted longer and left behind a much more stable program.
Anyway, it’s a good debate. And several other Big 12 coaches made the top 25.
OSU’s Mike Gundy is at No. 24, which seems a little low. Under Gundy, the Cowboys have risen to become one of the nation’s 15 most successful programs, with little history to support such a rise.
TCU’s Gary Patterson is at No. 10, and if anything, that’s low.
Texas’ 1998 hiring of Mack Brown is at No. 9. Which is about right. Brown transformed the Longhorns back into a national brand, after more than two decades of wandering between good and mediocre.
Missouri’s hiring of Gary Pinkel was No. 19. Pinkel had success in both the Big 12 and the SEC with Mizzou.
If Art Briles hadn’t found scandal at Baylor, he most surely would have been on the list. If Mike Leach hadn’t got crossways with his superiors at Texas Tech 10 years ago, he would have been on the list. Kansas State’s hiring of Bill Snyder was more than 25 years ago.
It’s a fun list. Well worth checking out.