The Sooners gave up 48 points on Saturday in a three-point loss to their rival Texas in the Red River Showdown. Just a day later, Lincoln Riley made the decision to part ways with defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Mike Stoops contributed to the 2000 National Championship before leaving to Arizona in 2003, where he coached until 2011.
Sources confirmed his removal on Sunday after OU’s loss to Texas the day before. Stoops has been the defensive coordinator since 2012, and also coached on the team from 1999 to 2003. Ever since his return in 2012, the Oklahoma defense has struggled.
In a statement today, Lincoln Riley called Stoops a quality football coach and said he was responsible for a lot of success at Oklahoma.
Ruffin McNeill, who used to be the head coach at East Carolina when Lincoln Riley was an assistant there, will take over the defense from Stoops.
McNeill came to OU in the summer of ’17 and has been serving as a defensive line coach for a season and a half. He inherits a defense that has allowed 27.3 points per game this season and has not made a single red zone stop.
Riley and Ruffin spent five years together as assistants at Texas Tech, and then five more at East Carolina where McNeill was the head coach. Before the 2015 season Riley made his way to Oklahoma and at the end of that year McNeill was let go with a 42-34 record. He then spent 2016 as an assistant at Virginia.
Check out students’ reactions to Mike Stoops here: