Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops announced that he is retiring, effective immediately, on Wednesday, and Oklahoma gymnast Maggie Nichols wished him the best while thanking the coach for his time in Norman.
After being left off the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team due to an injury last year, Nichols took the college gymnastics world by storm this past season, accomplishing a perfect 10 on each of the apparatus events this year and also leading Oklahoma to its second straight national championship while winning a share of the individual national championship on uneven bars.
Like Nichols did this last year, Stoops has also brought plenty of his own success to Norman. He was the longest-tenured coach in college football and led Oklahoma to 10 Big 12 championships in 18 years and the 2000 National Championship. He is also the winningest coach in OU history, with a 190-48 record (.798 winning percentage).
[More from Excelle Sports: Oklahoma gymnastics wins second consecutive national championship]
His sudden retirement sent shockwaves through the sports world on Wednesday, and Nichols sent the coach a message thanking him “For all the wins, all the titles, all the memories and all the lives you touched along the way, #ThanksBob.”
See Nichols’ full message below:
— Maggie Nichols (@MagsGotSwag12) June 8, 2017
“Stepping down after 18 years as the head football coach here at Oklahoma,” Stoops said Wednesday. “I feel like I’ve been absolutely the luckiest, most fortunate guy in the world and incredibly blessed to have experienced what we have over the last 18½ years.”
Nichols will be an early favorite for the NCAA individual national championship next season as she hopes to lead Oklahoma to its third straight national championship.