Stoops and Sumlin will meet as head coaching adversaries for the first time when No. 12 OU meets the No. 10 Aggies on Jan. 4 at the Cotton Bowl inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
If you’re hoping for some bad blood to build between the two over the next couple weeks, it’s unlikely to happen.
Stoops and Sumlinhave a relationship that goes all the way back to the 1990s when both were assistant coaches.
It made it a very easy hire when Stoops was looking for an offensive assistant following the 2002 season.
Sumlin had been elevated mid-season to coordinate R.C. Slocum’s Texas A&M offense, and did so with great success, even at OU’s expense, when the Aggies upset the No. 1 Sooners 30-26.
“Heck, Kevin and I used to run around South Florida together recruiting when he was at Purdue (and) I was at Kansas State. We were chasing the same kids all the time,” Stoops said. “But, again, I’ve known what a quality coach Kevin was before then. But at that time I liked the fact he was familiar with the conference, too.”
The Sooners went 54-13 and won three Big 12 championships during Sumlin’s time in Norman. He remembers those five years fondly.
“There’s a bunch of great wins, a bunch of great games. The Big 12 championship game in Kansas City against Nebraska (in 2006), that was a great moment. A lot of great wins,” Sumlin said. “I think the culture that he (Stoops) created, not only for the team, but … for our families, because our families, our wives are still close.
“It’s a complete family culture. As I said, it’s not just one single experience in five years; there’s a bunch of things that go into a great experience like I had at Oklahoma.”
John ShinnFollow me @email@example.com