Oklahoma defensive coordinator
Who’s in: Alex Grinch
Who’s out: Mike Stoops/Ruffin McNeill
Some of the bigger coaching news that dropped in the past two days involved the hated rival north of the Red River naming its next official defensive coordinator. Oklahoma is pretty much set on the offensive side of the ball in terms of talent and coaching, under head coach Lincoln Riley, but the defense definitely needs some help.
In the middle of the regular season, Oklahoma fired former defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. That allowed the former East Carolina Pirates head coach Ruffin McNeill to take over as the interim defensive coordinator down the stretch. If Oklahoma’s defense plays any better next season than it did for the past three years, that will be a scary proponent for the Horns.
Oklahoma’s defense clearly played better in the second meeting between them and Texas football than it did in the first this season. Texas football posted more than 45 points in the first Red River Showdown and less than 30 in the second. Stoops didn’t have a lot to work with for the Oklahoma defense, but his time in Norman was running out at the start of the 2018 regular season.
The Sooners are set to replace McNeill as the interim defensive coordinator with a former Ohio State and Washington State Cougars assistant Alex Grinch. The 2017 Broyles Award finalist and former Ohio State defensive coordinator is a nice hire for the Sooners. But, Grinch did have a rough adjusting period for the Buckeyes in the final year under legendary head coach Urban Meyer.