COACHING SEARCH: Mike Stoops

Mike Stoops

Mike Stoops, who coached at Arizona from 2004-2011, could be the next guy on the University of Memphis' coaching search radar.

We've written about the need for Memphis to make a "wow" hire in this space several times over the last week.

A hire of Mike Stoops, who was fired by Arizona this year after seven seasons, would certainly elicit that reaction.

Memphis is in desperate need of a bona fide name, someone who's proven himself at a variety of levels. The football program could also use someone who's respected far and wide.

Stoops, the brother of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, would fit that bill.

Stoops reportedly met with new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer about becoming the defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes. Nebraska is also said to be vying for his services.

Stoops has accepted no position with anyone as of yet. One reason why? He could be holding out for a head coaching gig. He's certainly more than qualified for the job at Memphis.

Among his highlights in his seven seasons at Arizona:

  • Four wins over teams ranked in the Top 10
  • Two eight-win seasons
  • Led Wildcats to three straight bowl games from 2008-2010

    Stoops is among the best candidates remaining. Many schools are filling their openings, and a Stoops hire by Memphis would likely be considered a home run.

    Before taking over at Arizona, Stoops held positions at Iowa, Kansas State, and Oklahoma. He's been coaching college football for over 20 years.

    He also has a good eye for coaching talent. He hired now-Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes as an assistant in 2006. Dykes is revered as one of the brighter offensive minds in the nation.

    Assistants make all the difference, and if Stoops has hired coaches like Dykes in the past, the opportunities are seemingly endless.

    Why Stoops makes sense: The Stoops' namesake is one of the more recognizable coaching family names. While he was ultimately fired because of a 1-5 midseason record, he had at least four wins in conference in five of his seven seasons. He turned around Arizona; why not Memphis?

    Stoops, to put it simply, would be a home run.

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