Bob Stoops’ announcement in June that he was leaving Oklahoma after 18 seasons stunned most observers.
That includes his younger brother, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops.
Apparently, Bob Stoops, 56, didn’t say much to his family members ahead of his announcement. Mark Stoops said he found out about his brother’s retirement just before everybody else did.
“It was one of those moments you won’t forget because he called me and it came out of the blue,” Mark Stoops told The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) reporter David Caraviello Wednesday at the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. “I had really no idea it was coming, but he called me and told me what was going to happen in the future, in the very near future. And it was a bit of a shock to me to be honest with you. I had to walk out of my office and walk around the practice field. And that’s where I had that conversation with him away from everybody. So I was shocked.”
Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma teams won 10 Big 12 titles and a national championship. When he left the Sooners, he was the longest-tenured coach in the FBS.
“I’m very proud of him, what he’s done, and very happy for him and [Bob’s wife] Carol and his family, to be able to step away when he wants, how he wants. That’s Bob,” Mark Stoops said in comments reported by Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“I don’t know how many people have done that, but that’s — that’s kind of him. He walks away when he wants to do it, on his terms. And I think it was very important for him to walk away with a good football team with a chance to win his league and get in the playoffs and hand off a program that he took so much pride in building. So I have mixed emotions about it still, but I’m still proud of him and hope the very best for him.”