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Nick Saban talks Bob Stoops, says he’s not thinking about retirement

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and former Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops prior to 2014 Allstate BCS Sugar Bowl: Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.–Media pundits and fans of the college football venue received some shocking news on Wednesday, as one of the league’s class acts steps away from his coaching job. After 18 strong years at Oklahoma University, Bob Stoops called a quits. News first broke via SportsCenter, following a tenure in which the 56-year-old took the Sooners from being a run-oriented team to having success in the passing game.

Since taking the head coaching role in 1999, Stoops has a record of 190-48.

He led the Sooners to 14 10-plus win seasons, 10 Big 12 Conference championships and a BCS national championship during his second year in 2000. Along with running the conference in sheer dominance, Stoops would earn numerous Coach of the Year awards from Walter Camp (2000, 2003), Associated Press (2000) and six times from the Big 12 – including last season. He gained a multitude of admirers in nearly 20 years as a head coach, with one being Alabama football’s head man Nick Saban. While Saban leads all coaches in wins versus AP Top-10 teams since 1999 with 31, Stoops falls second behind him with 21. Despite taking a beating from the Sooners in the 2014 BCS Allstate Sugar Bowl, Saban hates to see his colleague leave the game.

“Bob is a really good friend,” Saban said.

“I’m not just friends with him, I’m friends with his entire family. They are really quality people and Bob has been a tremendous asset to the profession based on the job that he does, the quality of coach that he is, the great person that he is, the integrity that he has in running a real first class program. Me personally, I hate seeing great leadership like Bob leave the profession, but we certainly wish he and his family the best.”

With Stoops gone, there is only a handful of active coaches left that have won a national championship. Saban is one of those individuals, however, his time to hang up the headset, give up the a** chewings, win more titles and throw arguments at the media is not over yet.

“As long as I feel good, I love coaching,” Saban said.

“I’ve said this before, I’ve been part of a team since I was nine years old. It scares me to death to figure what is it going to be like when I’m not part of a team, so as long as I feel good and I’m healthy and I can do it, we have every intention on trying to do it. If I felt like couldn’t do it to the standard that I wanted to do it, then that would be the time not to do it. I don’t think that’s anytime soon.”

Surrounding himself with coachable, yet fun players has made Saban feel young.

“I really enjoy being around the players,” he said. “I enjoy trying to create value for them and their futures, whether that is personal development, seeing them graduate, seeing them develop as football players and seeing them have opportunities in life. And I think we do it as well at Alabama because of the team that we have as well any place and I’m really proud of that.”

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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