OU football: Former Sooners coach Bob Stoops to be inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
NORMAN — Bob Stoops is headed to the hall.
In his first year of eligibility, Stoops was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday.
“As a son of an all-time, lifelong high school coach, no one appreciates the game of football and the coaching profession more than I do, and so I am grateful for and humbled by this honor,” Stoops said in a statement.
Stoops is the winningest coach in OU history, going 190-48 during 18 seasons, winning the 2000 national championship.
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The Sooners made a bowl game in every year under Stoops, making it to four championship-game appearances and becoming the only coach in the Bowl Championship Series era to win a national title and every BCS bowl game.
The Sooners won 10 Big 12 championships under Stoops.
Stoops is the fourth Sooners coach to be inducted, joining Bennie Owen (1951), Bud Wilkinson (1969), and Barry Switzer (2001).
The last OU player to be inducted was Rickey Dixon in 2019.
Two of Stoops’ players — Josh Heupel and Roy Williams — were on the ballot again but did not make the cut for the 2021 class.
Stoops praised OU’s administration, his assistant coaches and support staff but said it was the players that ultimately were most responsible for the success.
“I am so appreciative of all the guys who played for me,” Stoops said. “I felt a great connection to our players from my first year in 1999 and all the way through my last season in 2016, and if I did anything right it was always connecting wholeheartedly with them.
“To me, that’s probably the most important thing for a coach — being able to connect with and relate to your players.”
He will join three of his mentors in the hall. His college coach at Iowa, Hayden Fry, was inducted in 2001. Bill Snyder, who Stoops coached under at Kansas State from 1989-95, was inducted in 2015. Steve Spurrier, who Stoops served as defensive coordinator for at Florida from 1996 until taking the Sooners job before the 1999 season, was inducted as a coach in 2017. Spurrier was inducted as a player in 1986.
“I feel amazingly blessed that I was around so many remarkable coaches and people,” Stoops said, mentioning those three plus former Kent State coach Dick Crum. “In the end, I am so honored to join the College Football Hall of Fame and feel a great sense of humility.”
Coaches are eligible three seasons after their retirement or immediately if they are 70 or older and must have been a head coach for at least 10 seasons, coached at least 100 games and have a winning percentage of .600 or better.
Stoops will be officially inducted on Dec. 7 at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in New York.
The other 12 members of the induction class include quarterbacks Carson Palmer (USC) and Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois), defensive end Andre Tippett (Iowa), offensive linemen Harrison Barton (North Carolina) and Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame), running backs C.J. Spiller (Clemson) and Darren Sproles (Kansas State), linebackers Dan Morgan (Miami) and Al Wilson (Tennessee), defensive tackle Kenneth Sims (Texas), defensive back David Fulcher (Arizona State) and head coach Rudy Hubbard (Florida A&M).