Big 12

News of Stoops’ retirement crashes Oklahoman’s website

Bob Stoops is stepping down as the head football coach at Oklahoma after 18 seasons, multiple outlets have reported.

The Oklahoman, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, first reported the breaking news just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. At 2:30 p.m., attempts to read the story at newsok.com were met with an error message, presumably the result of the rapid influx of traffic overloading the outlet’s servers.

The site was operational again at 2:36 p.m. for a period of a few minutes before error messages again took over when trying to navigate to the story page within the Oklahoman web site. As of about 3:15 p.m. the site problems appeared to have been addressed.

Oklahoma offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Lincoln Riley will take over the program, the Oklahoman reported, citing sources. Riley was given a pay raise to about $1.3 million annually last month.

From a prepared statement, Stoops said: “There has been some speculation about my health. My health was not the deciding factor in this decision, and I’ve had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching. I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins.

“The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players. Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition.”

Under Stoops, Oklahoma went 190-48. Stoops led the Sooners to 10 Big 12 championships, an 11-7 record against its fiercest rival, Texas, and won the 2000 national championship after a 13-0 season and Orange Bowl victory over Florida State. Stoops-led Oklahoma teams went 5-2 against TCU.

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817

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