Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder has a long history with Bob Stoops.
Stoops played for Iowa while Snyder served as the Hawkeyes’ offensive coordinator. Stoops worked for Snyder at K-State as an assistant and then as defensive coordinator. They have also faced each other many times as head coaches, starting in 2000 after Stoops took over at Oklahoma.
So it should come as no surprise that Snyder had kind words for his old friend after Stoops shockingly retired from coaching following a stellar 18-year run with the Sooners this week.
“We go way back to the University of Iowa where Bobby was a tremendous player for us,” Snyder said in a statement released by K-State on Thursday. “Lots of wonderful history. I have never enjoyed playing against Bob or any of our previous coaches. But he was always gracious regardless of the outcome of how badly his team defeated us. I’ve known him as a demanding and fair mentor who truly cared about the young men he coached.”
Stoops went 10-3 against Snyder, but one of K-State’s best victories came against Oklahoma in 2003 when the Wildcats upset the Sooners (undefeated and ranked No. 1 at the time) 35-7 in the Big 12 championship game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Stoops retired from Oklahoma with an overall record of 190-48. He led the Sooners to 10 Big 12 championships and one national championship.
But before all that, he helped Snyder turnaround K-State as an assistant. Stoops was a member of Snyder’s first staff at K-State in 1989 and remained with the Wildcats until 1995. He left to become the defensive coordinator at Florida and was hired at Oklahoma a few years later.
“This has special meaning for us at Kansas State,” Snyder said. “Bobby’s time here was instrumental to building the foundation of our football program, from which our growth and continued success has evolved. We are truly proud of his success at Oklahoma. I, and many others I’m sure, will nominate and promote his induction in the NFF College Football Hall of Fame and then know at some point in time he will make it. Bob’s family should be recognized as well. Carol and the three children are all special people and have been such a positive influence on him.
“... I am so very proud of him and Carol and know that they will have a wonderful and enjoyable retirement.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett