Thursday, November 27, 2014

Coaching Candidate: Bob Stoops

It seems highly likely - if not inevitable - that the University of Michigan will be looking for another new football coach soon, perhaps even in the next three or four days. Rumors have been bouncing around since a couple weeks into the season when Michigan lost to Notre Dame, 31-0. Things have not improved much since then. Michigan's most impressive win is either the close victory over a 6-5 Penn state team or the close victory over a 5-6 Northwestern team. The offense has been stagnant and special teams have been frustrating; defense has been the bright spot, but they struggle late in games.

In an effort to get a jump start on some new hope, I'll be profiling a series of coaches whose names have been floating around as candidates. Some of them may be wishful thinking, while some may be our worst nightmare. At the end of each post, I'll rank the candidate in order of my wish list. I'll start off with a guy that would probably make quite a few fans and alumni happy.

Bob Stoops
Age: 54
Current position: Oklahoma Sooners head coach
Head coaching experience: 168-42 at Oklahoma (1999-present)
Current salary: $5,250,000 per year
History: Stoops grew up in Youngstown, OH, and was an All-Big Ten safety at Iowa as a player. He then coached the defensive backs at Kansas State under Bill Snyder and was co-defensive coordinator when KSU had an excellent run, which he used as a springboard to the Florida Gators defensive coordinator job under Steve Spurrier from 1996-1998, helping them win a national championship. He took over an Oklahoma team that had been 17-27 under Howard Schnellenberger and John Blake for the three years previous; Stoops proceeded to go 7-5 in his first year and then won the national championship in 2000. Since then he has only had two seasons of four-plus losses (8-4 in 2005, 8-5 in 2009).
My thoughts: Stoops to Michigan would essentially be a lateral move, but there have been rumors that he and the administration in Norman don't quite see eye-to-eye. This is about the time in his career where he has to decide whether he wants to be in Norman forever or whether he wants to try other challenges. Stoops has an array of brothers scattered around college football (Mike is Oklahoma's defensive coordinator; Mark is Kentucky's head coach; Ron, Jr. is an assistant at Youngstown State), and Mark is making quite a recruiting impact in Ohio. With the family's success and ties in the midwest, Bob would probably do a very good job of recruiting in the Big Ten imprint. Stoops has done a good job of producing NFL talent, and he has adapted his offense as the years have gone along while still playing solid defense. That monstrous salary seems like it would be difficult to overcome, especially with President Schlissel seeming slightly uneasy about the role of athletics at the university.

My wish list:
1. Bob Stoops


  1. I'd take this guy in a heartbeat. He doesn't win every big game to be sure and he will show up flat every once in a while, but his teams are coached up and fun.

  2. Thunder, how realistic would it be to get Bob Stoops? I don't know what's going on in Norman ...and the saying goes that its better to deal with the skunk that you know than the one that you don't know. So with that being said, my concern is Stoops knows what he's got there in Norman verses all of the stink that has been happening in Ann Arbor for the last six years, so why would he want to come to Ann Arbor and take a chance that he won't get the support and the success? Especially since it's a lateral move? Serious questions.

    1. I don't think Stoops has had to deal with a lot of scandals at Oklahoma, so I would be okay dealing with that "skunk." That's not to say that everything is above board, but it should be okay.

      I think anyone who grows up in Ohio and plays football in the Big Ten would at least be open to the idea of coaching at Michigan or Ohio State. That doesn't mean they would jump at the chance of coaching either, but it would be under consideration.

      The biggest drawback on Michigan's end would be the amount of money they would have to give Stoops. Even if Stoops would be amenable to taking a similar amount of money (let's say $5,000,000/year) for a lateral move, I don't know if Michigan would shell out that kind of money.

    2. Michigan would need to shell out that kind of money, even if M doesn't go after the Oklahoma headman. Hoke makes something like 4 million a year. If we end up hiring a top and proven coach, we would need to pay around $5 million. Harbaughs, Stoops, and Mullens of the world will not come for anything less.

  3. There's a very little chance that he comes -- given that he wants to make that move, you'd need to hit him with a significant raise, something like $6 mil a year deal plus whatever buyout he has. Phew. That would make him the highest paid coach next to Nick Saban.

    I'd take him, of course, he has 80% winning rate at Oklahoma. I just think the move would be very difficult, and that one of the Harbaughs would be a better choice.

  4. "Some of them may be wishful thinking, while some may be our worst nightmare."

    Ooomph ... I'm not looking forward to thinking about the "worst nightmare" scenarios.

    1. Haha. I was actually going to post one of those today, but then I figured that since it's Thanksgiving, I would try to keep things a little happier.

    2. Post *one* of those? You have multiple?! Double-ooomph! :-)

  5. Magnus - Why, in your opinion, has the offense been stagnant? And why don't you (seemingly) believe Hoke can fix it for next year?

  6. Can you add something about liklihood in these? I think there is next to no chance Stoops would leave Oklahoma...but you never know.