It took Bob Stoops a little over a 18months, but the winningest coach in the university of Oklahoma football history, got tired of retirement. The 58-year-old was introduced on Thursday as the new head coach-general manager of the XFL’s Dallas team.

Bob Stoops
Bob Stoops stepped away as Oklahoma’s all-time leader in victories in 2017, but took a head coaching job with the XFL Dallas team. (Image: AP)

The XFL is a professional football league owned by Vince McMahon, who is the owner of the WWE, the successful wrestling organization. Oliver Luck, who was with the NCAA, is the commissioner of the XFL, was at the press conference to introduce Stoops as the first head coach of the eight-team league.

“I don’t do gimmicks and Bob doesn’t do gimmicks,” Luck said. “All these folks we have on board don’t do gimmicks. The Texas Rangers would not have us in this beautiful building if they thought we were a gimmicky league.”

Uncomfortable Retirement

Stoops hasn’t been on a sideline since he retired from Oklahoma in June 2017. It was then he cited a desire to spend more time with his family. On Thursday, Stoops talked about how he was hesitant to return to coaching.

He had become an icon in Norman, and in 18 years had compiled a 190-48 record, passing Barry Switzer as the university’s all-time victory leader. He also won 10 Big 12 championships and captured the 2000 national title in leading the Sooners to a 13-0 record.

There wasn’t much more left to accomplish, and for Stoops the decision to leave made sense.

“When I stepped away a couple of years ago, one of my major reasons, and I made it very clear, is I wanted my own time,” Stoops said. “As the saying goes, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ All of a sudden, I got to thinking after a couple of years, some days I’ve got too much time on my hands. You start to look at what are your options.”

The last scenario Stoops wanted was the grind of a NFL or college football season. He had spent time with the Sooners, sometimes sitting in on meetings with his successor Lincoln Riley. It allowed him to keep active, but not overwork himself.

Stoops Sold on League

Though he had been rumored for many positions, including the head coaching job at Auburn last year, nothing seemed like a good fit. Then he was approached about the McMahon’s professional football league, that he announced in January 28, 2018 was being reformulated, and would begin play in 2020.

“At first I thought it probably wouldn’t be for me,” Stoops said. “But through our discussions as a family, started to think this would fit us correctly.”

Though Stoops can look at this as a less demanding job than a high-profile college program. That doesn’t mean, though, that he is looking at this like a hobby.

“If I didn’t want to coach, I wouldn’t be here,” Stoops said. “If this wasn’t the place I wanted to be, I wouldn’t be here. When I stepped out two years ago, I wanted my own time. I’ll be darned, I got too much of it now.”