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Bob Stoops retakes Oklahoma football helm after Riley leaves for USC

Stoops will coach OU in their upcoming bowl game.
Bob Stoops
Posted at 4:58 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 18:02:27-05

NORMAN, Okla. — Bob Stoops is taking hold of the University of Oklahoma football program again following head coach Lincoln Riley's departure Sunday.

OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione announced Stoops as the program's interim coach headed into the postseason.

“First and foremost, I’m a program guy, and whatever I can do to help OU and to support the players, of course, I’m glad to do it," Stoops said in a statement Sunday.

"I’ll do everything I can to help them finish the season in a strong and successful way, and I look forward to that. Lincoln did a great job in his five years as head coach here, and I appreciate all he did for this program. I’ll always appreciate the close friendship we’ve had and will continue to have. I wish the best for him, Caitlin, and their family.”

The team (10-2) is eligible for a bowl game appearance but is unlikely to compete in the College Football Playoff following their loss on Saturday to Oklahoma State (11-1).

Stoops, 61, served as the Sooners' head coach from 1999 until his own surprising announcement in 2016 when he retired from coaching.

Riley served as offensive coordinator under Stoops starting in 2015 before taking over following his retirement.

Bob Stoops, Lincoln Riley
FILE - In this Wednesday, June 7, 2017 photo, Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, left, who resigned, and incoming coach Lincoln Riley, right, smile during a news conference in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, June 7, 2017. USC announced Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, that Lincoln Riley will take over as its head coach. Oklahoma reached back to the past to steady things, announcing that former Sooners coach Bob Stoops will step in as the interim coach for the team’s bowl game. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Stoops spent one season coaching in the XFL before the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He's currently a college football analyst for Fox Sports.

In his time in charge at OU, Stoops led the Sooners to a national championship title in 2000 and national championship appearances in 2004, 2005, and 2009.

They won 10 Big 12 Conference championships under Stoops.

He's a 2021 College Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Ryan Love at KJRH first reported this story.