Bob Stoops shockingly and abruptly announced his retirement from the head coaching position with Oklahoma University Football on Wednesday after 18 seasons with the Sooners.

His replacement? 33-year-old Lincoln Riley, who will become the youngest head coach in Division I following Stoops’ departure. Riley spent two seasons under Stoops as the team’s offensive coordinator, and in 2015 won the Broyles Award, given the the nation’s best assistant coach. Riley was also previously the offensive coordinator at East Carolina University.

The announcement from Stoops comes at an unfamiliar time, as the 56-year-old led the Sooners to the 2016 Big 12 title, defeating in-state rival Oklahoma State 38-20 on Dec. 3. They then defeated Auburn in the All-State Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 35-19 to finish the season at 11-2 and fifth in the AP poll.

Stoops spent all 18 of his coaching years at Oklahoma, and finished with a record of 190-48 over that span to ring up a .798 winning percentage. He was the longest-tenured coach in Division I, and now leaves Oklahoma with the all-time record for most wins in program history.

Only once in Stoops’ 18 seasons did the Sooners win less than eight games, and that was his first season in 1999, followed by a perfect 13-0 season in 2000. Stoops also coached two Heisman Trophy winners, Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008).

When commenting on his departure, Stoops said in a press conference, “Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition.” Stoops also said he is “not sad” on the decision, and that Riley will provide a “seamless transition.”

In steps Riley into a favorable position, as returning to Norman is star quarterback Baker Mayfield and 2016 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner Dede Westbrook. The Sooners are once again favored to win the Big 12 Conference.

Riley’s first game at the helm will be on Sept. 2 at home against UTEP.

Read more about:
Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!