College football fans know Bob Stoops as the head coach of Oklahoma.
But Gator fans remember Stoops for being Steve Spurrier’s defensive coordinator for three years. He was also the defensive mastermind behind Florida’s 1996 national championship run, where they beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
Stoops caught up with ESPN Gainesville’s Steve Russell earlier this week to discuss a variety of topics, including Oklahoma’s past season.
“I felt we were going to be much better than people thought,” said Stoops, when asked if he believed his team was capable of such a great season at the beginning of the year. “That’s the best way of saying it. You never know if you’re going to stay healthy, get the right break, of if things are going to pan out the right way.”
The Sooners finished the season 11-2, losing to Clemson in the Orange Bowl and finishing No. 5 in the AP Poll.
“Being apart of (the College Football Playoff) was great. The Orange Bowl people were great… the experience was great. Didn’t get to do the second leg of it but I thought it was really positive,” Stoops said.
With only 11 seniors on this past year’s team, Oklahoma is primed to appear in national contention again.
“The only position we lost a good number of guys is at linebacker, so we have to do some work there,” said Stoops, who loses five linebackers including Dominique Alexander – the team’s leading tackler for the past two seasons. “But most of the others, we got a lot of guys back.”
Oklahoma fans will get a first look at their new team when they host their Spring game on April 9.