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November 24, 2013

Stoops secures 158th victory, most wins as OU coach

NORMAN — Anybody watching F1’s Saturday afternoon’s broadcast of Oklahoma’s 41-31 victory over Kansas State watched Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops escape the Gatorade jug bath a couple of his players were trying to give him.

The occasion was Stoops’ entry into the record book of the program he directs.

Saturday made it 158 victories for Stoops since arriving at OU prior to the 1999 season, making him the winningest football coach in Sooner history.

Barry Switzer went 157-29-4 over 16 seasons at the program’s helm. Stoops now sits on a 158-39-0 mark with two games remaining in his 15th season.

But if Stoops escaped his players as the game concluded on the field, he did not escape the celebration given to him by the university just as intent as welcoming his entry into its all-time record book as he has been at deflecting it.

“I do not look at anything individually. I am supported by a great administration that has been here for all 15 years,” Stoops said Saturday. “I have had great assistant coaches who have had a hand in it … We have had a good group here for a good period of time but I do not have time to look at it, to be honest. It is something that I will reflect back on down the road.”

OU, via its website, SoonerSports.com, immediately offered up a multi-media tribute to its coach under the headline “Broad Shoulders.”

Within it were testimonials from Hayden Fry, who Stoops played for and coached for at Iowa, brother Ron Stoops Jr., an assistant at Youngstown State, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, Alabama coach Nick Saban, who referred to Bob Stoops as “my very good friend,” and Switzer, the man whose win total he surpassed

Additionally, several former Sooner assistants offered their congratulations, including Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, and Washington State coach Mike Leach.

“I don’t remember what game I passed Bud (Wilkinson) years ago … But it is a big deal to be the winningest coach in the history of Oklahoma football,” Switzer said, “because the history of Oklahoma football casts a long shadow over the entire game of college football.”

Fry, whose coaching tree also includes Barry Alvarez, the winningest coach in Wisconsin history, current Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, sees Switzer and Stoops as similar entities.

“Bobby Stoops and Barry Switzer are out of the same mold,” Fry said. “They are winners. They are great men to play for.”

Eventually, the players caught up to Stoops. Included in the presentation on OU’s athletics website is a postgame shot from the Sooner locker room at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Stoops is holding what appears to be a commemorative game ball and he’s smiling as he’s picked up by several of his players, most notably a shirtless Nila Kasitati.

In the picture, at least, he appears to have stayed dry.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

cfhorning@normantranscript.com

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