When Bob Stoops retired in 2017 after 18 seasons as Oklahoma head coach, he had no plans to coach again. Three years later, he'll be on an XFL sideline.
"Everyone wants you to define your life until the end of your life,” Stoops said while being introduced as head coach and general manager of Dallas' XFL franchise. “It’s like when I stepped away, ‘Oh, you’ll never coach again.’ Well, you never know. This wasn’t an option when I stepped away. You just never know."
Who else never knows? What other former college football coaches could join Stoops in the XFL?
Former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino is living his best life in Naples, Fla. Why not live his best life 170 miles north in Tampa?
Stoops' coordinator on the Sooners' 2000 national title team, Mangino hasn't been a head coach since 2009 and has only coached three total seasons since then, none since 2015. He's still only 62 years old and could bring some flavor and fire to the XFL.
For one reason and one reason only: Special teams.
Good special teams are a pleasure to watch. Punt coverage, blocked kicks and punts, creative fakes.
Horrendous special teams are also a pleasure to watch (if you're not a fan of the team). Botched snaps. Hysterically inept coverage. Bone-headed penalties.
The XFL needs Ron Zook's horrendous special teams.
Todd Graham is a Texas native and spent 12 of the first 13 years of his coaching career in the state. He later returned as Rice head coach in 2006 and led the Owls to their first bowl in 45 years.
The former Pac-12 Coach of the Year with a huge coaching tree (Gus Malzahn, Chad Morris, Mike Norvell to name a few) didn't coach last year after his dismissal from Arizona State and isn't slated to coach again in 2019.
Could Houston's franchise call Graham?
Several schools have tried to hire Gene Chizik since his 2012 firing at Auburn. Only Larry Fedora succeeded, though Chizik remained in Chapel Hill for only two seasons.
Now a full-time husband and father who does some media work on the side, the 57-year-old Chizik has repeatedly said he's happy. Still, every XFL team should go after the title-winning coach.
The XFL needs some bite. Some edge, anger and arrogance. Bobby Petrino is their man.
Petrino, 57, will never get a Power Five job again and will have to settle for something different if he's not content bathing in a $14.1-million buyout.