Bob Stoops Talks XFL, Shoots Down Auburn Rumors

Stoops will coach the XFL's Dallas Renegades in 2020

Zach Gelb
September 23, 2019 - 9:40 am
Bob Stoops Baker Mayfield

USA Today Images


Bob Stoops probably stayed away from coaching longer than most people would have thought. 

Stoops, who retired from Oklahoma after the 2016 season, will coach the XFL’s Dallas Renegades in 2020, which begs two questions: Why return to coaching now? And why the XFL?

“I believe that there’s a market for this kind of spring league,” Stoops said on The Zach Gelb Show. “People want to watch more football. There’s a lot of great football players out there that are on the fringes of the NFL. You think about the last 10 guys cut from every football team in the NFL – those are good football players that need a platform to play.”

Dallas is also close to Oklahoma – less than a three-hour drive – which is manageable for Stoops and his family.

“I believe in the leadership,” he said. “Oliver Luck, our commissioner, is a very successful guy, and of course our owner, Vince McMahon, is a very accomplished guy. We got great TV contracts already in place. So I just think it works. It fit me right now, and we’ll see where it leads.”

Stoops, 59, retired from college football in June 2017. In his absence, Lincoln Riley has led the Sooners to back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances – and coached a pair of Heisman Trophy quarterbacks.

“Oh, I miss it,” Stoops said of coaching. “I knew I would. Not more than I thought I would. I knew it would be incredibly hard, and it has been. But at the end of the day, maybe after two years not being on the sideline, I had a little too much time on my hands. When I stepped away, I said I wanted more time to myself and space. You know the old adage: be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.”

Auburn is reportedly interested in hiring Stoops, but Stoops shot down those rumors – in part because Gus Malzahn is still the head coach. 

“There’s no way I’d ever even entertain a call from anybody if they already had an existing head coach,” Stoops said. “That’s not happening. I’ve got too much respect for our profession and all these other coaches out there working and hustling to ever be one of those guys who would do that. So in the end, I don’t know what I’ll be doing in the future, but at the end of the day, I’m excited about the opportunities in front of me right now.”

Asked if he might return to the college game in a year or so, Stoops said he didn’t know.

“The good lord is the only one who knows what you’re going to be doing next year,” Stoops said. “At the end of the day, everybody wants you to find your life and what you’re going to do, and you don’t know what’s coming or what your opportunities are. It’s senseless to talk about it.”

Click below to listen to Stoops’ interview in its entirety.