NCAA Football Countdown=63 Days ~ Giving The Coaches Some Love

I’ve known many coaches over the years, as an athlete and as a friend, with several still coaching high school ball and/or Athletic Directors, and one still coaching Division I football as a Defensive Coordinator, having done so at many well known universities(LSU-TAMU-KState-TCU-Purdue-Baylor).

These are the men who take far too much of the heat when their teams don’t perform well. They don’t get near enough love from most fans.

It’s the coaches who have to know volumes of rules concerning how the game is played and instruct the players, the same players they recruited after learning volumes of rules on just how recruiting can be conducted. They watch hours of game tape, spend hours on the phone, spend hours on the road visiting the players, their families and high school coaches. All the while spending hours upon hours away from their own families.

Coaches don’t have an easy task, not by a danged sight. The rewards? If you are a successful coach it can mean a very good salary at a well funded university, along with much praise. Often overlooked is the reward most coaches find, that of taking a group of young men that they brought to campus, working hard together in the heat and cold, to do battle together to be the absolute best, to be a champion.

Whether they ever win a championship or not, they see the best and worst of each other, the emotional and physical pain, as well as the many moments of elation and despair. These men, young and old, learn about life together and are shaped by their efforts.

The D-I coach I have the utmost respect for is Coach Bob Stoops. After helping lead Florida to a national championship as their DC, he was hired as OU’s twenty first HC, in 1999.

With his fifteenth season set to begin in two months, he only needs to win nine games to surpass OU’s all-time leader in wins, Barry Switzer. Details about OU’s coaching history can be found here. Coach Stoops will have done that in the same time period as Coach Switzer, but of course there are many differences. Coach Switzer inherited an ascending program from Coach Fairbanks, Coach Stoops inherited a program that hadn’t had a winning season in five years. Coach Switzer didn’t have the scholarship limitations that exist today, and the recruiting rules are vastly different. Coach Stoops will never reach the winning percentage Switzer had(.837), but he is the Coach with the highest active winning percentage for coaches with more than eleven years in the game.

Having taken over a losing program, no Sooner team has had a losing season under his tenure, with his first season in 1999 coming closest with a 7-5 record. Having won one national championship and playing in three others in a ten year span, the pressure to win the school’s eighth national championship is palpable.

It ain’t easy being Head Coach.

We now come to an excellent video produced by an OU fan, hambone694, that captures many of the greatest moments in Coach Stoops head coaching career, of which there are many. Just remember that each and every one of these young men over the last fourteen years have been touched by Coach Stoops and he by them.


Sercan Ondem

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