With the departure of Lincoln Riley to USC, Bob Stoops is taking over at Oklahoma for a few weeks. Stoops, who led the program from 1999–2016, will serve as interim coach as the program looks for Riley's replacement. He is also set to coach the team's bowl game, according to a report by The Athletic. That assignment will feature a nice payday for Stoops.
On Thursday, Oklahoma's Board of Regents is expected to vote on a $16 million budget for OU athletics, with a focus on upgrades and renovations to the school's facilities, per The Oklahoma Daily.
While the $7.5 million center display at the Lloyd Noble Center, home of the school's basketball and gymnastic programs, is the headliner item, Stoops will be paid a $325,000 bonus in addition to his normal salary to lead the Sooners over the next few weeks.
Stoops made $5.55 million in his final full season leading the Sooners. Ahead of the 2021 season, Riley signed an extension that was set to pay him $7.6 million per year through 2025–26. According to USA Today, his buyout was valued at $4.5 million. It is not yet clear how much he'll make at USC.
Stoops stepped down abruptly as Sooners coach in June 2017 and handed the job over to Riley, who was his offensive coordinator. He has served as a part-time special assistant to athletic director Joe Castiglione in the years since and had a brief return to coaching with the XFL's Dallas Renegades in 2020.
“I’m not much on talking about my feelings or thoughts publicly on any of that,” Stoops said of Riley's departure. “Disappointed? Sure. The rest of it, that’d be between Lincoln and I, personally. As it should be. I’m not much on making that kind of stuff public.”
Oklahoma football finished the regular season at 10–2 (7–2), ending the year with a 37–33 loss to rival Oklahoma State, which knocked it out of Big 12 Championship Game running, and in all likelihood, contention for a College Football Playoff spot. Oklahoma State and Baylor, the only two teams to beat OU this season, will meet in the conference title game at AT&T Stadium on Saturday at noon ET.
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