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Bob Stoops, Former Oklahoma Sooners Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2022 6:41 pm

Bob Stoops, Former Oklahoma Sooners Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 13, 2022 6:41 pm

Bob Stoops joined Zach to remember the life of Mike Leach and discuss what made Leach so special as a person. 

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Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, The Dixie Mafia. Available now on the Odyssey app, or wherever you get your podcasts. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown, and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news, and add shows to your queue to catch up later.

There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. It's a somber day on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio, as you remember Mike Leach, who of course did coach at Texas Tech, Washington State, and most recently compiled an 8-4 record at Mississippi State this past football season. And unfortunately, we lost coach last night, and if I had to take you back to 1999, Bob Stoops actually hired Mike Leach to be his OC on Stoops' first staff at Oklahoma, and Bob Stoops is kind enough to join us right now on CBS Sports Radio.

Coach, first off, I wish we were talking under better circumstances. Really appreciate you doing this, and just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family on the passing of your friend in Mike Leach. Yeah, it's a really sad day, and thank you, but people just say prayers, you know, and continue to pray for Sharon and his children, and you know, the Mississippi State community.

It's a terrible, terrible few days, definitely, and we're going to all miss them. I know that this all feels surreal, and it clearly doesn't even feel real yet, but when you hear the name Mike Leach, just what comes back to mind with all those memories you have? Just an incredible individual, just very, I know a lot of people say someone's one of a kind. He truly is the definition of one of a kind. He's just a totally unique person, and you know, just going to miss the conversations, going to miss seeing him and visiting with him, and you know, he was a notorious night owl, so I'm going to miss those midnight phone calls that go to 1.32 in the morning, and none of it's talked about football. So anyway, yeah, just smile when I think of him, you know, for sure, you know, we all do that know him. And that's the thing, we all can admire what he did as a football coach, but he was just a regular man and never got too big for his own britches, obviously, and you're right, coach, he could talk about anything.

All the time, and you know, you never knew where the conversation was going to go, and then when he started pontificating about it, you'd sit there and just listen for 15 minutes before you were able to chime in. But it was beautiful, and again, just a very insightful guy, and you know, again, we're all going to miss him. If you had to describe his impact on the game of college football that I know you love so much, just how would you describe that impact to someone?

Oh, it's huge. You just look at the air raid offense that you have to give Hal Mummy some credit here, too. You know, he and Hal were joined at the hip through Valdosta State and Iowa Wesleyan before going to Kentucky, and you know, when I got to Oklahoma, I couldn't hire Hal Mummy, but I thought if they can do that at Kentucky, why can't we do it here at Oklahoma? And so I called Hal and said, hey, can Mike do what you guys have been doing there at Kentucky here at Oklahoma? And he didn't hesitate.

He said, absolutely. So I got to talking to Mike and we hired him here, and I think, you know, with our maybe, you know, just we took off here, and then Mike, I think we made it popular, maybe a little bit more at Oklahoma, and then when Mike goes to Tech and continues to move the ball and score it, you know, so efficiently, that it became popular, and then more college teams are doing it. It spread like wildfire through the Texas high school teams, and then now it's already branched up into the NFL, certain segments of it. So he's had, he had a huge impact, but you know, it started with he and Hal Mummy together, and then Mike, again, we made it a little, you know, a little more noticeable here at Oklahoma and Mike at Tech. When you were picking that first staff at Oklahoma, and you talked about that relationship, and you were the DC at Florida, and he was the OC at Kentucky, what else really drew you to say, okay, that was the guy that we're going to go with? Well that, I had the biggest problem, biggest pain in my neck was dealing with Kentucky when I was the D coordinator at Florida, and you look at all the stats, the offensive stats, they were in the top two, three in about every category. So, you know, I thought again, why, if they can do it there, why can't we do it here at Oklahoma and be something different?

No one else in this league or no one else around the country was moving the ball around that way, spreading it out and throwing it like we were, you know, sideways and vertically. And so, you know, fortunately I made the right decision to, I'm going to bring that style of offense here to Oklahoma, and it worked. Bob Stoops here with us, as we remember Mike Leach, who unfortunately did pass away last night. You talk about that Oklahoma team in that lone year together, 1999, your familiarity with him. He then quickly becomes a head coach after that one year at Oklahoma, gets the Texas Tech job. Did his success at all surprise you, or was it pretty clear, okay, you had that one year together that this guy could really accomplish a lot?

Oh no, I wasn't surprised at all. I thought it was a really smart hire by Texas Tech, though I didn't want to lose Mike that quickly. But he got us started, and I knew I had some guys that could, with Coach Mangino and his background, and bringing a quarterback guy in like Chuck Long, that I could weather the storm of losing Mike. But I didn't want to lose him, but I knew Tech had hired a great coach, and Mike would do a great job there, and he did. And even though we had a lot of big battles together, we remained very, very close friends, and we always had great respect for one another, and really always stayed in touch. What stood out to you the most in that one year working together?

Because there's one thing to think that you're getting someone that's really special, but then you find out a lot more about them when you're working day in and day out with someone. Mike was really smart in that he knew there's a lot of good football plays out there, but you can't run them all. So he was going to be great and efficient and disciplined at what he ran, period. And someone might bring up a great play that someone else is running that seemed like it would fit. And he would agree, he'd say, you know what, that is a great play. But then he'd say, but we're not running it. So, yeah, that's a great play for them, that we're not running it. Because that other school might know all the ins and outs of that play.

We're not going to run it not knowing every single detail about it. So the beauty of Mike was minimal play sheet, minimal number of plays, but we're going to be better running them than you're going to be defending them. There's so many great Mike Leach stories, but I think this one is number one for me. 1999, you talk about the play sheet. Tell the story to the listening audience about the fake play sheet that Mike did draw on up and dropped on the field through Trent Smith before Red River between Oklahoma and Texas.

Yeah, I had no idea. I found out later, a week later, not even right after the game, but he had Trent Smith go out with a play call sheet like the first 10 plays or first 12 plays. He had Trent running around and act like he was tucking it in his belt and let's it slip and intentionally let's it slip through the belt.

He's near, I don't know if he's near the Texas bench or he's near a couple of Texas, whether it be grad assistants or one of their managers, whoever. Then someone was across the way looking to see if anyone picked it up. Sure enough, the kid picks it up, looks around, and he doesn't see anyone looking at it, so he goes scurry into the Texas locker room.

So they took the bait. Lo and behold, in the first quarter, we're up 17-0, so it must have worked to some degree. Anyhow, it was just one of Mike's tricks. My favorite part about that, because the head coach usually knows everything, is that he was able to do it and you did not know about it. You said you found out about a week later. How did you find out?

I don't know. The guys, I think some of the other coaches were talking about it, and I go, what the hell happened, and they told me. I'm like, you've got to be kidding me. Yeah, so be it.

There was water under the dam by that point. Anyhow, yeah, there's nobody like him. He's special. He's truly one of a kind, so we're going to all miss him. And it's going to be a day of celebration. I know it's going to be sad as well on January 2nd. I saw Mississippi State said they're going to play to honor their football coach in that bowl game up against Illinois.

You know how this goes. Obviously, you have your family, then you have your football family, and often they intertwine. I can't imagine what his football family is going through and then also his real family as well. No doubt.

That's why I said just pray for Sharon and their children and Mississippi State program. No doubt. Mike would want them to play. You know that. That is not to even be discussed.

He would not stand for them not to be out there playing and competing. Yeah, just hard. I don't know. It's been a tough few days. Last thing I'll ask you, Coach Bob Stoops, and I really do appreciate you carving out the time, let's just say in 15, 20 years someone comes up to you and they ask you to just reminisce and really just describe to them who Mike Leach was.

How do you do that? Well, you walk in his office and it's all football and it's on a Monday night. It's 11 o'clock at night and I'm dying to go home. I'm tired. I sit there and I'm lectured for an hour about Geronimo.

It has nothing to do with playing Texas the next week. I'm going to sit there and I've got everything I need to know about Geronimo in that hour. That's just Mike. He could school you about anything. He was so interested in everything and researched everything. He was the best, but that's what I got from my OC on a Monday night when we're all talking football. He wants to talk about Geronimo.

One of a kind. There is no doubt about it and we're going to miss Coach Mike Leach. Coach Bob Stoops, I really do appreciate the time. And once again, my condolences to you and your family. And to the Leach family in Mississippi State.

Everyone, continue to pray for them. Thank you. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio.

Season two, the Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake? I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears.

Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money. I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, The Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-18 11:20:56 / 2022-12-18 11:26:41 / 6

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