OKLAHOMA CITY (KXAN) — The longest-tenured coach in college football, Oklahoma Sooners’ Bob Stoops is retiring after 18 seasons.
Stoops has led the Sooners to 190 wins and is the winningest coach in the school’s history. He has also led the football team to a school-record 18 consecutive bowls.
In a statement, Stoops said speculations about his health were not the reason he stepped down.
“My health was not the deciding factor in this decision and I’ve had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching. I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins. The program is in tremendous shape,” said Stoops.
Stoops started his career at OU in 1999 and in that time, he has beaten Texas 11 times, one of the school’s biggest rivals known as the Red River Showdown. During last season’s game, OU did it again and bested Texas 45-40. According to OU’s website, Stoops is respected as a grounded family man and a strong leader.
Before he was a coach, Stoops played football for Iowa, which is also where his coaching career started.
The university says current offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley will replace Stoops, who will remain as a special assistant to the athletics director.
“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,” said OU President David Boren in a statement.
Even though Texas head coach Tom Herman didn’t get a chance to pit his team against Stoops’, Herman issued a statement stating his experience with Stoops when he was a young graduate assistant. “At the time, they were struggling, and he changed that in a hurry. He was driven, passionate and determined to build something great, and he did so at an extremely high level for a long, long time,” said Herman.