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Former Sooners coach Bob Stoops reminds Oklahoma Legislature 'Lincoln Riley didn't invent OU football'

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Bob Stoops

Former OU football head coach Bob Stoops during the spring game on Apr. 23

Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops reminded the Oklahoma Legislature that “Lincoln Riley didn’t invent OU football," hearkening back to his comments on Nov. 29 when his successor left the Sooner State.

While the College Football hall of famer was being celebrated by lawmakers for his legendary coaching career at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Tuesday, he opened up about taking over as interim coach after Riley’s departure for Southern California in the fall.

Despite retiring in the summer of 2017, Stoops picked up where he left off and led the Sooners to a 47-32 win over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 after Riley left to become USC's coach on Nov. 28. 

“Talking about this past year, and getting called off the golf course to come back and lead that Sunday was really fairly easy,” Stoops said. “I think I’ve been given way too much credit for it.”

Stoops guided the Sooners for 18 seasons and finished his career with a 191-48 record, 10 conference championships and most notably a national championship in 2000 before handing the program off to Riley.

Now, Stoops will try his hand again at the XFL, a league that laid him off in 2020 as it suspended its operations, which kicks off its restart in February 2023. 

“My primary mission,” Stoops said. “My first mission was to remind everybody — players, community, everybody at the University — (that) Lincoln Riley didn’t invent OU football. Everyone needed a little wake up call because they kind of slipped into thinking he did.”

Senior sports reporter

Colton Sulley is The Daily's senior sports reporter and covers OU football. He previously covered OU men's basketball, men's gymnastics and wrestling.

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