Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spurrier Influences Stoops

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spurrier Influences Stoops

Article excerpt

MIAMI -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops doesn't attempt to hide the fact that his career has been greatly influenced by his former boss of three years, Florida coach Steve Spurrier. In fact, the two share similar staccato speech patterns and many of the same mannerisms.

"Coach Spurrier has been the most influential on me, outside of my father," said Stoops, who was UF's defensive coordinator from 1996-1998.

The two continue to speak frequently and though Stoops has sought his advice on many issues, he said Spurrier is reluctant to offer any. Asked why the outspoken Florida coach was reticent with advice, Stoops said Spurrier's view is:

"A wise man won't need it and a fool won't heed it, so why give it out."

Stoops' decision-making, however, is quite sound. With this season's 12-0 run and Big 12 title, Stoops is 19-5 in two seasons, a .792 winning percentage that ranks third in Oklahoma's 106-year football history. Only Barry Switzer (.837) and Bud Wilkinson (.826), who have five national titles between them, are better.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden agrees there are some similarities between Stoops and Spurrier.

"In some ways he does, in other ways, not close," said Bowden, who proceeded to get a little dig in at the rival Florida coach. "Steve will say whatever he thinks. Bob would probably be a little more reserved."

NEARLY SOONERS -- FSU sophomore guard Montrae Holland, one of 10 Seminoles from the state of Texas, very nearly signed with the Sooners out of Jefferson High in Ore City.

"My mom really like Oklahoma, and I was thinking about commiting," Holland said. "With all the tradition, all the championships, I was nearly there, but I feel like I made the right decision."

Holland, who signed with FSU in 1998, wasn't the only Seminole courted by the Sooners. Senior defensive end David Warren (Tyler) also received a home visit from former Oklahoma coach John Blake as did redshirt freshman defensive tackle Kevin Emanuel (Waco). All three had scholarship offers from the old OU coaching regime. True freshman offensive tackle Ray Willis was also recruited by the Sooners. …

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