If anyone is able to commiserate with and understand the emotions currently flowing through Urban Meyer, it’s Bob Stoops.
In the summer of 2017, and at the age of 56, Stoops stunned the college football world by stepping down as the head coach at Oklahoma. Nearly 18 months to the day later, and at the age of 54, Meyer stunned the college football world Tuesday by not-so-unexpectedly stepping down as the head coach at Ohio State.
Given the similarities in age and success at their respective programs, Stoops is uniquely qualified to offer Meyer retirement advice. In the wake of Meyer’ press conference, Stoops spoke with USA Today‘s George Schroeder about the immediate challenges the now-former coach will face.
“It’s not easy, let me tell you,” Stoops told Schroeder. “I’d tell him, ‘Have some patience.’ It takes time. It’s such a drastic difference. It takes a lot.
“I’m still not adjusted — but there’s still time.”
Stoops also talked of missing “the intensity, the competition” as well as interacting with coaches and players every single day “and all of the sudden you go to being alone.”
“That’s not easy to handle,” Stoops stated.
Another similarity between Stoops and Meyer is the transition of power as they were both replaced by in-house coaches. The Sooners turned the reigns over to 33-year-old offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, while the Buckeyes tapped 39-year-old offensive coordinator Ryan Day as Meyer’s replacement.
At his press conference Tuesday, Meyer acknowledged that knowing Day has the makeup of an elite coach made his decision easier. Stoops, while not comparing the two situations, said the situation with Riley in place as a replacement made it “perfect” for him to leave the program as he knew it would be in good hands as “it was obvious to me” the coordinator was ready for his first head-coaching job.