Former OU Football Player Teddy Lehman Remembers Bob Stoops

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Stoops retired after 18 incredible seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners. Thank you all for a lifetime of memories we shared together of 10 conference championships, the 2000 national championship, strong relationships with players and coaches, and the great Oklahoma football fans.

The 56-year-old Stoops says the time is right to step down, but adds his health had nothing to do with his decision.

His successor, 33-year-old Lincoln Riley, will be the youngest head coach at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level.

Nine of his assistants went on to be head coaches, including his latest pupil, Lincoln Riley, who will be OU's 22nd football coach.

"Few athletics directors get a coach who better combines success and cohesiveness like Bob Stoops", Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, who hired Stoops. Although he claimed health wasn't the deciding factor, he's also been quoted as saying he wouldn't coach past age 55.

"After 18 years at the University of Oklahoma, I've chose to step down as the head football coach", Stoops said in a statement.

Stoops won another Big 12 title in his final year, but the Sooners didn't get to the College Football Playoff. Carol and the three children are all special people and have been such a positive influence on him.

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With coach Riley as offensive coordinator, the Sooners were just one of two FBS teams to average over 300 yards passing (313.1) and 200 yards rushing (229.4) per game over a two year span. His father, Ron, died at 54 of a heart attack suffered while coaching a high school game.

A year later, Stoops joined the coaching staff at Kansas State University and, in 1991, became the co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State under Bill Snyder.

"Well, it's certainly going to be different", said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, Bob's brother.

On the field, Sooner fans were concerned about retaining Riley as he entertained offers for head coaching gigs at North Texas, South Carolina and Houston. Stoops was hired a day before Ferentz on December 1, 1998. In his first year there, the Oklahoma Sooners won seven games and advanced to their first bowl game since 1994.

OU legend, national champion and Fort Gibson native, Teddy Lehman weighed in on Bob Stoops' sudden retirement.

Oklahoma remains the 10-1 fifth choice to win the national title at Station Casinos sports books - behind Alabama (3-1), Ohio State (5-1), Southern California (6-1) and Florida State (7-1) - and the 15-1 fifth choice at the Westgate sports book, alongside MI and Louisiana State.

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