With Sean Kugler abruptly stepping down as the head football coach at UTEP over the weekend, the 2017-18 coaching carousel has officially kicked off. There’s one name, if you had any inclination to add it, that you can seemingly cross off as a candidate for any job. Still.
In June of this year, Bob Stoops stunned the college football world by leaving Oklahoma and retiring from the sport. “The coaching life is like a relay race and I’m thankful for my turn and am confident as I pass the baton,” Stoops said in a statement announcing his retirement, an indication that he was leaving the profession, period.
Since, there have been rumors that the 57-year-old Stoops may have simply needed to step away from the game for a bit and recharge his batteries. Based on his comments Monday at an Atlanta Touchdown Club gathering, the coaching door is closed. Still.
I will say, regardless of what you might hear out there in the papers, if I intended again to coach that would have been part of my statement. I would have said, ‘I’m stepping away here now for this time for myself, but when it comes to the next year or two, I look forward to getting back in it.’
“But that’s not what I said. You won’t see me on a college sideline or a pro sideline. A lot of people act like they know, and there will be more than a few jobs out there. But that isn’t at all what I’m looking to do.
That said, it would be far more surprising if his name wasn’t attached to the coaching rumor mill in the coming months than if he was. Whether his mind could be changed, though, is something that a school or schools may attempt, although it seems as if it would ultimately prove to be a fruitless endeavor.