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Mike Stoops Twitter: @OU_CoachMike

There are coaches who might be on the hot seat, others who are likely safe due to massive buyouts in their contracts, and others who get canned in the middle of the season. Just ask the Oklahoma Sooners how the last one feels.

As if losing to Texas in the Red River Showdown wasn’t bad enough on Saturday, the Sooners made some massive changes to their staff on Monday morning by firing defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

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Stoops, the brother of former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, served two stints with the Sooners (1999-2003, 2012-2018), including winning seven Big 12 titles and one national title, before being dismissed.

This comes just two days after Texas scored the most points ever against Oklahoma, too, which is obviously not the best game to be remembered for.

“I have great respect for Mike. He’s a quality football coach, great man and a close friend. It became time for a change in our program and that happens sometimes in football, but we cannot lose sight of the accomplishments Mike had at Oklahoma. He was responsible for a lot of success and deserves the gratitude of everyone associated with Sooner football, not only for his role in the winning, but for coaching with integrity.” — Oklahoma Head Coach Lincoln Riley

Ruffin McNeill, OU’s assistant head coach and defensive tackles coach, will replace Stoops as the defensive coordinator for the remainder of the season. Bob Diaco will move from defensive specialist to coach the outside linebackers.

Stoops, who was the head coach at Arizona from 2004-2011 and between his two stints in Norman, Oklahoma, was all class when he made an announcement on Twitter.

“My family and I continue to hold the University of Oklahoma football players, coaching staff, administrative staff, and the entire Sooner Nation in the highest regard. We wish nothing but continued success for the program,” Stoops wrote. “I want to especially think all of my players (past and present) for their tireless efforts to keep Oklahoma on top.

“I have been very fortunate to have contributed to the many successes of conference and National Championships while at Oklahoma. My family and I will forever be grateful for these opportunities and memories. We believe this is part of God’s plan and look forward to new beginnings.”

Oklahoma Sooners players, such as Kenneth Murray and Ogbo Okoronkwo were quick with praise for the opportunity under Mike Stoops.

Oklahoma still has a chance to win another Big 12 title this season, but firing the defensive coordinator after giving up the most points ever to the Longhorns is certainly not the most ideal situation and one way to lose your job in college football.

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Author placeholder image About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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