7:13 PM ET
- ESPN News Services
Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is returning to coaching as the head coach and general manager of the Dallas-based franchise in the new XFL league.
Stoops was introduced in a news conference Thursday by Oliver Luck, commissioner of the XFL.
"At first I thought it probably wouldn't be for me," Stoops said. "But through our discussions as a family, started to think this would fit us correctly."
"I was also excited about starting something from the ground floor," Stoops said. "To hiring coaches, and then you gotta accumulate your players, get your organization set up, it reminds me of when I first arrived at Oklahoma. I thought one of the best things I ever did in my career was getting my first staff together at OU. … That's exciting to me. The opportunity to put it together and help it grow."
The XFL will begin play in 2020 during the early part of the year and will feature a 10-week regular season.
A source close to Stoops told ESPN that he liked the idea of getting back into coaching without it being overly time-consuming.
Stoops, 58, retired in June 2017 at Oklahoma after coaching the Sooners for 18 seasons and passing Barry Switzer as the school's all-time winningest coach. Stoops was 190-48 at OU with 10 Big 12 championships and won the 2000 national title in leading the Sooners to a 13-0 record.
A reconfigured Globe Life Park will be the home field for Dallas when the XFL debuts in the spring of 2020, about the same time the Texas Rangers move across the street to a new ballpark.
"When I stepped away a couple of years ago, one of my major reasons, and I made it very clear, is I wanted my own time,'' Stoops said of his abrupt retirement, just three months before the start of the season. "As the only saying goes, be careful what you wish for. All of a sudden, I got to thinking after a couple of years, some days I've got too much time on my hands. You start to look at what are your options.''
The fact that Stoops is returning to coaching at the professional level is somewhat ironic in that he turned down several opportunities to coach in the NFL when he was at Oklahoma.
This will be the second version of the XFL headed up by WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Former West Virginia athletic director Luck left his job with the NCAA in June to be the XFL's commissioner and CEO.
Stoops said this is the right fit, in large part because it's not far from his roots in Norman, home of the Oklahoma campus.
"Through our discussions as a family, started to think this may really fit us correctly, for a lot of reasons,'' Stoops said. "And my first was my confidence in Oliver Luck on up through to Vince McMahon. These are accomplished men who have had success in everything that they've done for the most part.''
ESPN's Jake Trotter, Chris Low and The Associated Press contributed to this report.