Two more OU assistants out as Stoops continues purge
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
2/13/13 at 7:43 AM
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NORMAN - Hints of Bob Stoops' impending implosion of the Oklahoma football staff began in a January interview.
Stoops was asked his thoughts of not playing in recent national championship games. "I hate it" was his response.
Last week, the Oklahoma coach was asked if he expected any staff changes.
"From year to year, things happen on every staff," Stoops said last week. "We'll see where it goes."
Stoops' blueprint for a return to the national championship scene came with unprecedented personnel movement this week.
On Tuesday, the Tulsa World confirmed that defensive line coach Jackie Shipp and offensive tackle/tight ends coach Bruce Kittle would not be retained.
The news came one day after OU's announcement that offensive line coach James Patton wouldn't be back in 2013.
In 13 previous years, only one assistant (Willie Martinez, 2012) left Oklahoma without a head coach or coordinator job as a next step.
One vacancy appears to have been claimed. West Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is expected to join the OU staff, SoonerScoop.com reported on Tuesday afternoon.
Shipp's departure leaves Bobby Jack Wright (special teams coordinator/defensive ends) and Cale Gundy (running backs) as only assistants remaining since Stoops' arrival in 1999.
Shipp, a Stillwater High School graduate, played football at Oklahoma between 1980-83. The former linebacker holds the OU record for tackles in a game (23) and tackles in a season (189).
He was an offensive line coach at Alabama (1998) and Northeast Louisiana (1997) prior to joining Stoops' staff. He began his coaching career at Langston in 1991.
While at Oklahoma, Shipp produced defensive tackles like two-time All-American Gerald McCoy, Lombardi Award winner Tommie Harris and all-Big 12 selection Dusty Dvoracek.
The past three seasons have been a challenge for OU's defensive line.
In 2012, the Sooners' interior line finished with 56 tackles (lowest total since 2009), 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
Between 2010-12, Oklahoma's top three defensive tackles produced a combined 28.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. In 2009 alone, OU had 25 TFLs and a dozen sacks.
The 2009 squad was anchored by Gerald McCoy, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Since his departure, OU has yet to sign a blue-chip defensive lineman.
Oklahoma's 2013 recruiting class includes four defensive tackles, but it was perhaps the player who got away that stung the Sooners this season.
Justin Manning, rated the nation's No. 6 high school defensive tackle prospect by Rivals.com, selected Texas A&M over Oklahoma. It may have been a bit of a surprise for the OU staff, considering Manning was considered a strong lean to the Sooners early in the process and is the younger brother of former Oklahoma defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger.
The Sooners are in a late recruiting battle for 2013 defensive tackle Toby Johnson. The 6-4, 305-pounder from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College plans on deciding between Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi State and Auburn on Friday.
Johnson wasn't happy with the Shipp news and let it be known via social media.
Johnson put on Twitter: "#OU fired Coach Shipp i loved that guy he was like a father figure to me #BoomerSooner thats the worst thing yall could've done rite now"
Kittle has been an on-field coach for the past two seasons after getting his start at Oklahoma in 2010 as the school's on-campus recruiting coordinator.
Kittle's advancement to an on-field coach was questioned by some. He'd never been a full-time assistant college coach prior to his promotion; in fact, his only coaching experience (besides a five-year stint as a graduate assistant and volunteer assistant at Iowa) was as a high school assistant coach and junior high head coach.
It appears Oklahoma is getting a solid recruiter in Bedenbaugh. Rivals.com named him one of the league's top recruiters by on Tuesday and a top 50 recruiter nationally by 247sports.com last week.
Bedenbaugh, 40, has spent the past two seasons as West Virginia's offensive line coach. The 18-year veteran coach was a college teammate of Mountaineers Dana Holgorsen at Iowa Wesleyan, where he also played for then-offensive coordinator Mike Leach.
Bedenbaugh coached for four years (2007-10) at Arizona under current OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. He was at Texas Tech between 2000-06, where he spent two years each as a graduate assistant for the offensive line, running backs coach and offensive line coach.
Bendenbaugh was asked about his style of coaching prior to his first season at West Virginia.
"In your face," he told the Times West Virginian in 2011. "That's the only way. I'm demanding. I'm tough. I expect a lot."
Marydee (Connor) Bedenbaugh, wife of Bill Bedenbaugh, is an Oklahoma State graduate.
Original Print Headline: Two more OU assistants out
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
Bill Bedenbaugh: The West Virginia offensive line coach is expected to join the OU staff. His wife is an OSU graduate.