I was born to be an OU football fan. Crimson and Cream is in my blood. From the time I can remember, game day was an event that brought our family together, and even after I’d moved away from home, it was OU football that kept us in touch. Most of my phone calls to Dad were made on Saturday just after another amazing play, and because OU’s team has always been pretty spectacular, those calls were usually made at least once a week.

When Barry Switzer left in 1989, the Sooner nation moaned in unison. As one of the winningest football coaches in American history, he led our team to 12 conference championships and three national championships, and we knew that it was his coaching that had taken us to such heights.

For the next several years, OU’s team floundered, and it was obvious to fans that it was because of a lack of leadership. Switzer’s first replacement was Gary Gibbs, a nice guy who had a decent record at OU (44-23-2), but who had zero charisma. We called him the Dan Quayle of football - he just wasn’t comfortable with the fans, the media and most of all, his team. It was obvious that the team didn’t give him the same respect they had given Coach Switzer.
Next was Howard Schnellenberger. Besides being a poor spokesman for the team we loved (He once ordered that OU records were thrown away, but they were secretly archived instead.), Schnellenberger was cocky and overconfident. He was even quoted as saying that movies would be made about his time at OU. In the end, his record was 5-5-1. Yawn. We were so glad when he left.

Coach John Blake was next. Another nice guy who wasn’t able to get the team to play. After three years, his record was only 16-22, and he moved on to a collective sigh of relief from all of Oklahoma. Those were dark times for OU fans, and we were ready for a change. We knew we couldn’t have Switzer back, but we wanted someone like him who would make the players want to play hard again. After ten dismal years, we were ready for a winner.

In came Bob Stoops. A 38 year old defensive coordinator at Florida, Stoops looked like your average Joe…a husband and father from the midwest who didn’t seem bigger than life at all. Still, when he spoke, it was easy to tell that there was more to him than just a pretty face. Obviously driven by a passion for the game and a need to win, he took the mediocre team the Sooners had become and immediately began turning them around. With him at the helm and his brother Mike as the defensive coordinator, the team began playing as if they cared again. His winning attitude became their winning attitude, and by the time his second year ended, OU was national football champion.

Over the years, Bob has fought as hard as his players. As a national powerhouse, OU is used to having a target on its back, and Bob is the first to defend his team against inequity and unfairness. The 2006 game against the University of Oregon is a case in point. During the game, officials awarded an onside kick to the Ducks when it should have been Oklahoma’s ball. Though we ultimately lost the decision, and consequently the game, Bob fought during and after the game to have the bad call overturned. Once the decision was made, he was gracious about it, but we all knew where he stood. All the officials were suspended for one game, and one left officiating for a year. The world knew that Bob had been right to defend the team.

The rest of the year was punctuated with hard knocks. Rhett Bomar, the team’s starting quarterback, and another player were kicked off the team for violating NCAA rules, and our star running back, Adrian Peterson, broke his collarbone, taking him out for the remainder of the regular season. Still, the team excelled and went on to win the conference championship.

Last night, the 2007 season began with OU playing against North Texas State University. Known more for their music program than for football, North Texas was completely outplayed, its players left standing in amazement as OU barreled over them to end with a score of 79 to 10. (The score after the first half - when the first string was still playing - was 56 to 0, which means our second string beat them 23 to 10 in the second half.) So, it looks like we’ve got a pretty good team again this year, though next week’s game against Miami will tell the tale.

No matter what happens, Bob Stoops will always be my hero. Strong, loyal and respectable; he has become beloved by an entire state. He gives our kids someone to look up to and emulate. He shows us all what it means to be passionate about your calling. No matter what the scoreboard shows, Bob Stoops is a winner, and I’m proud to be one of his biggest fans.


  • 2000 National Championship,
  • 2000/2002/2004/2006 Big 12 Championship


  • 2000 Walter Camp Nat’l Coach of the Year
  • 2000 Paul “Bear” Bryant Award
  • 2000 Home Depot Coach of the Year
  • 2000 AP Nat’l Coach of the Year
  • 2003 Walter Camp Nat’l Coach of the Year