NORMAN — In terms of percentage, the raise and extension Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops received on Wednesday were not massive. The bump up to $5.15 million for next season is a 13 percent increase.
New contracts like the one approved by the school’s board of regents have been common. Just about every two years, Stoops, who will begin his 16th season on OU’s sideline in August, and OU have ripped up the previously agreed to seven-year deal and started anew.
What was different about the most recent is the line it crossed. The latest seven-year deal is for $39.9 million over seven years. Stoops is now the second-highest paid coach in college football, trailing only Alabama’s Nick Saban. He is the fourth highest salaried coach in college sports behind Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Saban and Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari.
However, just last year there was a strong feeling Stoops had reached the zenith of what OU was willing to pay.
Since OU won its seventh national championship in Stoops’ second season in 2000, athletic director Joe Castiglione and president David Boren have been committed to keeping Stoops among college football’s highest compensated coaches.
But $5 million a year seemed to be a barrier OU did not want to break.
The way the 2013 season ended provided momentum, and proved that the Sooners are still rising. It was no shock Stoops’ raise and extension were approved the same day as OU’s $371 million renovation of Owen Field.
The two are linked in so many ways.
“I can remember probably this particular meeting my first two or three years here, when I had to come before the board and ask for them to continue to provide a loan that we were covering crude operating debt that took place over a nearly eight or 10 years,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “Through the good fortune of what our football program has done, the excitement and the way people have supported not just football but our other sports, we’ve become closer to the kind of statement I said back then, that we wanted to be a program by which all of us are compared.”