Bob Stoops Shoots Down Florida Gators Rumors

Bob Stoops Shoots Down Florida Gators Rumors

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  • Bob Stoops shot down rumors he will be the Florida Gators’ next head coach.
  • Stoops was a former defensive coordinator at Florida.
  • He has been coaching the Oklahoma Sooners since 1999.

Oklahoma Sooners head football coach Bob Stoops put to rest any rumors about him being interested in the Florida Gators coaching job. The University of Florida announced last week it will not renew Will Muschamp’s contract after the 2014 NCAA season.

Bob Stoops is not going to be the next Florida Gators head football coach

This was what Stoops, the Oklahoma Sooners head football coach, said during the Big 12’s weekly teleconference on Nov. 17, per The Orlando Sentinel’s Matt Murschel:

“Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops brushed aside a reporter’s question about his interest in being a possible candidate for the Florida Gators coaching job.

“‘All I want to be is a candidate for Oklahoma,’ Stoops said during the Big 12 conference’s weekly teleconference. ‘I am not a candidate anywhere else. I’m finished with that question.’

Will Muschamp announced Sunday that he was stepping down as the Gators coach at the end of the season following a disappointing 23-20 overtime loss to South Carolina. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley will begin the search for the next coach and several high-profile names have come up amid speculation including Stoops, a former assistant coach at Florida from 1996-98.

“Stoops has spent the past 16 seasons leading the Sooners to a 167-42 record including a national championship season in 2000. The Sooners are 7-3 this season. 

“Also mentioned as possible candidates for the job are Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez.

“It’s going to be a long couple of weeks for Stoops as he’ll have to entertain questions about the Gators job until the position is filled.” 

In spite of Stoops’ stand, The Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi believes he should be the Gators’ next head football coach:

“Several years ago, I wrote that Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops would be crazy to take the University of Florida coaching job.

“Now, I’m writing he would be crazy not to.

“Memo to the man Steve Spurrier nicknamed ‘Stoopsy’ when Spurrier was the Gator’s head coach and Stoops was his defensive coordinator: You’ve done all you can do at Oklahoma. Now it’s time to save the program that gave you one of your biggest breaks in coaching.

“Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, when he hired Will Muschamp four years ago, hoped that Muschamp would become the next Stoops — a former defensive coordinator who became a rock star as a head coach. Not many people know that was Foley who actually urged Spurrier to hire Stoops.

“It was back in 1996 when the Gators were looking for a defensive coordinator, and Foley went to Spurrier with at stat sheet that showed the most dominant defenses in the NCAA. At the top of the list was Kansas State, where Stoops was a co-defensive coordinator along with Jim Leavitt, who would go on to become the head coach at the University of South Florida. Foley suggested to Spurrier that maybe he should hire Stoops. 

“The rest, of course, is collegiate coaching history. Stoops came to UF and took over a defense that had given up 62 points to (the) Nebraska (Cornhuskers) in the previous season’s national title game. The very next season, with Stoops choreographing the defense, the Gators won the national championship. Consequently, Stoops became one of the hottest coaching commodities in the country and was hired by Oklahoma as its head coach two years later.

“That was 16 years ago — 16 long years ago.

“Certainly, Stoops must knkow deep down that he’s just not appreciated as he once was at Oklahoma, where fans have booed the team this season. Spurrier himself once said that spending 10 or 12 years at one program is enough and then you need to move on. One of the stated reasons Spurrier left Florida is because Gator fans had become so spoiled that they expected perfection every season.”

Stoops has amassed a 167-42 (.799) coaching record in 209 regular-season games with the Oklahoma Sooners through Nov. 21, per

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