Bob Stoops has registered 149 career wins, needing only nine more to surpass Barry Switzer (157) for the most victories in Oklahoma history, meaning the Sooners' head coach is poised to attain another historic milestone in 2013.
Quantifying the lasting impact that Stoops has made on Oklahoma is the easy part. He has led the Sooners to a school-record 14 consecutive bowl berths and eight Big 12 titles. Even though Stoops didn't arrive in Norman until the Big 12 was three years old, he already has coached the program to more than twice as many championships as any other school in the league.
Putting Stoops' accomplishments and remarkable consistency in the proper national perspective isn't difficult, either. Among schools from BCS conferences, only Alabama (61) and Oregon (56) have compiled more victories over the past five seasons than Oklahoma (52), while only LSU and Stanford can join those three schools in boasting 10 or more victories each of the past three campaigns.
The only head coach to reach all four BCS games and the BCS National Championship Game, Stoops has guided the Sooners to four appearances in a national title contest, claiming college football's crown in 2000. Of Stoops' 14 bowl appearances with the Sooners, eight of those games have been of the BCS variety.
No team from a BCS conference can claim more victories from 1999 to 2012 than the 149 wins registered by Oklahoma under Stoops' direction. In terms of longevity, only Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer (1987), Troy's Larry Blakeney (1991) and Texas' Mack Brown (1998) have been at their respective posts longer. Add it all up, and it's easy to see why ESPN the Magazine named Oklahoma the top college football program of the BCS era in 2012.
During his remarkable run in Norman, Stoops has picked up 17 coach of the year citations, including eight on the national level (only five coaches nationally have won more conference coach of the year awards), and watched six assistant coaches move into Football Bowl Subdivision head coaching positions.
Over the past 14 seasons, no team from a BCS conference owns more victories or a better winning percentage than Oklahoma (149-37, .801). Among active collegiate coaches, only Ohio State's Urban Meyer owns a better winning percentage at 116-23 (.835).
Under Stoops' direction, the Sooners have posted 11 seasons with 10 or more wins in his 14 years at OU. Prior to his arrival in 1999, the proud Sooner program was five years removed from a winning record and hadn't registered double-digit victories since 1987.
Stoops reached 100 victories faster than any coach in college football history, an average of 10.6 per season, including a 46-22 mark against opponents ranked among the Associated Press Top 25. He enters his 30th season in the coaching profession and his 15th as a head coach in 2013.
Among clubs that have competed at the FBS level every season since 1999, no club has scored more points per game than Oklahoma (37.1), while only Southern California (420) has forced more turnovers than the Sooners (410). Over that same span under Stoops, Oklahoma leads the nation with 1,215 third-down conversions and is third among FBS programs with 431 TD passes.
Two Heisman winners and five Heisman finalists have been characteristic of the talent Stoops and his staff have attracted. The offenses have been among the best in college football history (the 2008 team was the first to score 60 or more points in five straight games en route to scoring an NCAA-record 716 points).
The defense has been stingy and is the only program to produce two players who won the Thorpe and Nagurski Awards in the same season. The Sooners have also been opportunistic, registering at least one defensive TD in each of his 14 seasons at the helm in Norman.
The kicking game has also been an integral part of Oklahoma's success under Stoops. During his tenure, the Sooners have registered 29 touchdowns and four safeties on special teams. In 2012, Oklahoma registered a punt and a kickoff return for touchdown in the same game for the first time in the school's illustrious history.
Stoops has been characterized as a grounded family man, big-game coach, relentless recruiter, strong leader and a person with uncommon perspective.
His success emanates from a disciplined style true to his roots in the Steel Valley of Ohio, but he is far from inflexible. The principles to which he holds are the tried and true axioms of the sport mixed with cutting-edge strategy and an appreciation for the calculated risk.
The son of a coach, Stoops was a four-year starter at Iowa. He began his coaching career in 1983 as a volunteer in the Hawkeye program under Hayden Fry, working through the ranks until he became co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State (1991-95). There he played a key role in one of the most impressive turnarounds in college football history while serving on Bill Snyder's staff.
Eventually, he left for Florida and a three-year stint as Steve Spurrier's defensive coordinator. It was with the Gators, and a national championship team in 1996, that the spotlight found Stoops and made him one of the hottest names in the profession. His hiring at Oklahoma was one for the ages.
Stoops is 149-37 over the last 14 seasons. He is 92-22 vs. the Big 12, 7-1 in the Big 12 title game, 57-15 vs. non-conference opponents, 81-5 at home, 45-18 on the road and 23-14 on neutral fields.
OU has set four NCAA records and set or tied 112 school records under Stoops, not including bowl bests and marks specific to a particular position. Among those marks are passing for a game, season and career; receiving for a game, season and career; rushing for a season, all-purpose yards for a career and scoring for a career.
Stoops has authored two of the seven longest winning streaks in Oklahoma history. His 2000 and 2001 teams combined to win 20 straight, while the 2002 and 2003 teams combined to reel off 14 in a row. Those victories all came against FBS opponents.
Stoops' squads have put together the school's longest home field winning streak at 39. That's also the ninth longest in the history of college football. Stoops also has fashioned two other streaks of 19 straight.
OU won the 2000 national championship, played for three more and captured eight Big 12 South crowns and eight Big 12 titles. Oklahoma has spent 30 weeks at No. 1 in the AP poll and a national-leading 20 weeks atop the BCS standings.
Oklahoma has registered double-digit victories in 121 of Stoops' 185 games. The Sooners boast a 77-1 mark under Stoops when scoring 40 points or more.
Oklahoma has played in 14 straight bowl games under Stoops. Never had an OU coach taken even his first three teams to bowls. Prior to Stoops' arrival, OU had not played in one of what is now a BCS game since the 1988 Orange Bowl (1987 season). Stoops, in his second season, led OU to the 2001 Orange Bowl (2000 season).
An OU player finished among the top seven in the Heisman voting six times on Stoops' watch: Sam Bradford (No. 1 in 2008), Adrian Peterson (No. 2 in 2004), Jason White (No. 3 in 2004), Jason White (No. 1 in 2003), Roy Williams (No. 7 in 2001) and Josh Heupel (No. 2 in 2000).
Under Stoops, OU has produced 33 All-Americans; two AP Players of the Year (Heupel, White); two Nagurski Award winners (Williams, Derrick Strait); two Thorpe Award winners (Williams, Strait); two Butkus Award winners (Rocky Calmus, Teddy Lehman); one Bednarik Award winner (Lehman); one Lombardi Award winner (Tommie Harris); one Walter Camp winner (Heupel); three O'Brien Award winners (Sam Bradford and White twice); a Maxwell Award winner (White); a Unitas Award winner (White); an Outland Trophy winner (Jammal Brown) and one Mosi Tatupu Award winner (J.T. Thatcher).
All 86 home games of Stoops tenure have been sold out and the stadium capacity has been increased by some 9,000 seats since his arrival. In a state of 3.5 million people and two other FBS programs, attendance in Norman routinely exceeds 85,000.
In 1996 and 1997, his Florida defense scored eight touchdowns. The 1996 Gators won the national championship. During his final four seasons at Kansas State, the Wildcats were a 35-12 and played in three bowl games.