'Go Hawks' Still Heard in the Stoops House

Dec. 29, 2011

Insight Bowl Photos (Dec. 29, 2011) | Insight Bowl Video (Dec. 29, 2011)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When it comes to college football cheers in Bob Stoops’ house on Saturday mornings, “Boomer Sooner” isn’t the only one being shouted by the wife and kids.

“My wife (Carol) yells at my children all Saturday morning, `Go Hawks’ throughout the fall,” Stoops said at the final Insight Bowl press conference Thursday at J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn. “She just can’t say it tomorrow.”

Stoops’ wife, Carol, is a native of Cresco, Iowa, and she is one more connection that ties the Stoops family back to the Hawkeye State. The Stoops-Iowa connection has been well-documented leading up to the 2011 Insight Bowl, and the Oklahoma head coach isn’t afraid to talk about his Iowa pride.

“Once I see what my brothers have done during their games on Saturday, the next score I’m looking for is to see how Iowa did,” Stoops said. “The friendship, the relationships are there.

“It is different for me going against Iowa with my history and my brother’s history at the University of Iowa,” Stoops said. “So many close relationships and ties, it is a little bit different.”

Iowa (7-5 overall, 4-4 Big Ten Conference) faces Stoops and the No. 19 Sooners (9-3, 6-3 Big 12) on Friday in the Insight Bowl beginning at 9:06 p.m. (CT). Stoops lettered for the Hawkeyes from 1979-82.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was in his first year as an assistant coach under Hayden Fry in 1981, and reminisced about Stoops’ playing days during Thursday’s press conference.

“Bob was a skinny free safety when I got to Iowa in 1981,” Ferentz said. “That team had a great attitude. Bob was a big part of that. He was a junior that year, but truly one of the leaders on the defense. You can tell he was a coach’s kid. He was really smart, very tough, tenacious player.”

The two coaches shared a few moments on the podium Thursday, behind their respective schools’ helmets and the Insight Bowl trophy between. They shook hands, laughed, and traded stories. They are good friends, but that won’t be obvious once kickoff rolls around Friday.

“It doesn’t change anything when you get on the field,” Stoops said. “I will make that perfectly clear. It won’t for Kirk, it won’t for me. When you get to competing, you are in game mode; you do what you do all the time. You have those four hours, and you are doing what you always do and competing.”

Ferentz and Stoops will meet again for a handshake after the final play of the Insight Bowl on Friday. Win or lose, Stoops can go back to being a Hawkeye fan after the final horn.

And his wife can bring back her “Go Hawks” cheer on future game days.