Stoops denies he is close to signing with Florida

By Adam Silverstein
December 11, 2010

Head coach Bob Stoops may leave the Oklahoma Sooners for the Florida Gators He also may not. Either way, Stoops explained to Tulsa World on Saturday that reports stating he is close to signing with Florida are false.

“Not true, whatsoever,” Stoops told the paper‘s Dave Sittler via text message. “I’m out recruiting [for Oklahoma] as we text.”

A seven-time Big 12 champion who also captured a national title after serving as the Gators’ defensive coordinator under head coach Steve Spurrier, Stoops has been the object of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley‘s affection for years.

Foley has tried to hire Stoops on two other occasions but was rebuffed both times.

Though Stoops is widely believed to be the University of Florida‘s number one choice, word out of Gainesville, FL, is that Boise State Broncos head coach Chris Petersen not far behind in Foley’s pecking order.

Petersen, who has led Boise State since 2006, has never won fewer than 10 games in a season, is 2-0 in BCS bowl games (0-2 in non-BCS bowls), and has won four Western Athletic Conference titles in five seasons. He is also a two-time Paul “Bear” Bryant Award winner as Coach of the Year (2006, 2009).

Other current head coaches rumored to be up for the Florida job – in no particular order – include Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut’s Randy Edsall, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Louisville’s Charlie Strong, Southern Mississippi’s Larry Fedora and Houston’s Kevin Sumlin. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, in line to succeed Mack Brown, is also believed to be an option.

Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino was thought to be a top candidate for UF, but he reportedly agreed to seven-year contract extension on Friday. Petrino was supposedly Foley’s number two choice when he hired current/former head coach Urban Meyer.


  1. David says:

    Stoops and Bell together would have been a grand slam by Foley, but I just didn’t, and don’t see ,Stoops leaving OU. However, he didn’t deny his interest outright ….

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Chris Peterson would be a great fit for us. He put Boise on the map and has that same fire Urbes used to. I just don;t see Stoops bringing that inspiration we’d need.

  3. Mr2Bits says:

    Also like to add we need to steer clear of Mullen. I can count many games back in the day where I was pounding my head against the wall with his play calling. He would be a big mistake to bring in as a head corch

  4. Denver Gator says:

    I would be pretty surprised if it was Stoops. He has a nice kingdom set up at OU and they would probably be tough to leave. I still think it will be Mullen and a long shot chance at Petersen. But heck, what do I know, I thought Meyer would choose ND over UF…

  5. kt says:

    rumors, rumors, rumors!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i heard that Bill Belichick has talked to real estate companies in Gainesville.

  6. Wingtee says:

    The hunt for stoops is getting old . Foley needs to quit embarassing himself. Go get
    either Peterson , Whittingham, or
    Paterson. In that

  7. G8trpls says:

    Give us your best “educated’ guess, Adam. Who will it be?

  8. David says:

    I’ve read that Mullen wasn’t a good recruiter. That is a similar concern I have with Petersen. The past guys to come out of Boise have not been good recruiters (or been very successful). The SEC is war every day. On the field, in living rooms, everywhere. You need to be able to recruit and be able to get pumped up every day. I’m not sure The Bulldog Will Muschamp would come to UF, but I’d rather have him than some of the gimps like Randy Edsall who don’t bring the prestige and haven’t out-recruited anyone. If Texas thinks he is good enough to be their next coach, he is good enough to be our coach. Seriously. He isn’t my first choice, but he would be before some of these other guys I’m reading about.

  9. E-Pain says:

    I’m in the Petersen Camp. I agree, we need an Urban-esque grab, and Petersen would be it, not Stoops. Although I’m sure he would be great too, but Petersen brings that spark

  10. CH says:

    MR2BITS: I couldn’t agree more. I’m not sure why everyone is so stoked about mullen. There so many other coaches that would be a better fit with more experience. I’m not sure stoops is coming and stoops wouldn’t be my first choice, but I’ll be devestated if Foley takes Mullen.
    BTW – Adam, why isn’t anyone talking about Skip Holtz? He’s turned ECU around, then he’s done very well with USF. He has great coaching lineage and has experience with recruiting in Florida. Not saying he should be the first choice, but why would you go after Randy Edsel over Skip Holtz?

  11. David says:

    A spark is great. I agree it is needed. But we need someone who can coach, who has a spark, and who can recruit. We cant focus on any one aspect over the others. Zook was a great recruiter. We won in ’06 with his recruits plus Harvin and a little Tebow. But he wasn’t a great coach. You need all the aspects. I am just worried that Petersen may not be able to recruit in the SEC.

  12. Gatorgrad79 says:

    We need someone that the PLAYERS will buy into, and believe he can take them to the promised land. (Both current roster and potential recruits)Arguably, Peterson would have had his team in 2 BCS championship games over the last 4 years, had they been in a AQ conference. I think in that regard, Peterson is the guy. What can his scheme do in the SEC?? That is the question, and the issue which gives me pause…

  13. Todd says:

    interesting that Stoops is “out recruiting as we speak” when it’s Junior day on campus and reports say he was there.
    Also, no outright denial like “I will not leave for Florida”, just “I’m not finalizing a deal”.

  14. brlgator says:

    i dont consider peterson urbanesque. urban is one of the best recruiters in the country and peterson is not. He d need a top notch recruiting coordinator.

    will muschamp would be a nice steal but if he senses that mack is leaving soon i cant imagine him leaving. as much as it pains me to admit i think texas is a better job.

    our new HC needs to be a great recruiter

    i am hoping for stoops..let the visor return

  15. Wingtee says:

    Beigator it’s a hell of a
    lot easier recruiting at UF than Bosie and looks like they
    coach em up

  16. Reirrups says:

    Shanahan perhaps?

  17. DCgator says:

    WILL MUSCHAMP!?!?!?!?!?! You have got to be joking me. Why pass up Mullen and Strong just to hire a coordinator with no head coaching experience?

    Worst hire imaginable, except for Fedora.

  18. G8trpls says:

    I guess it’s Muschamp

  19. Wingtee says:

    How about Mushchamp?

  20. Marc Mac says:


    How have you not posted anything about Muschamp yet? WTF? Put your beer down and feed us!!!!!!

    Just kidding of course.

  21. E-Pain says:

    Muschamp? Not sure how I feel yet, I was hoping for someone with a little HC experience and offensive minded.

    Adam, what are you hearing about these rumors being true? I noticed you didn’t even have him listed and you’re as on top of things as anyone I know…

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