Cover Image: No Excuses

No Excuses

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Member Reviews

Excellent book that gives insight into the life of Bob Stoops. I enjoyed all the behind the scenes stuff that you never get to hear about. Highly recommend this book.
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When Bob Stoops took over the football program at the University of Oklahoma in 1999, the program was only a shell of what it was during its glory days in earlier decades. In two short years, the Sooners were the national champions. While this memoir certainly talks about that extraordinary accomplishment, it is far from the only event of his life that Stoops writes about with pride in the book. 

While Stoops does write with fondness about his siblings, parents and childhood, the book doesn’t feel like it has a personality of its own until Stoops enrolls at the University of Iowa and plays on the defensive side of the football.  It was there that Stoops realized that he stands little chance to play professional football and if he wants to have a career in the game, he has to turn to coaching. 

Starting as a graduate assistant under Hayden Fry in Iowa, the reader is taken on the journey Stoops undertakes on his way to Norman, Oklahoma. Stoops makes sure to praise all the mentors he had along the way for working as an assistant coach at Florida and Kansas State, where he was especially proud of being part of the staff that made the Wildcats a prominent program.  Stoops does a good job writing about his coaching career in great detail. 

However, the detail doesn’t delve greatly into either the life of coaches who work extremely long hours and there isn’t a lot of X’s and O’s during the football talk – instead he writes more about his family life, his players and his personal reflections.  Some of them are touching, such as when he talks about fellow coaches, whether on his staff or elsewhere. Others can leave the reader as either angry or at least confused, as I was when he was trying to explain why he suspended running back Joe Mixon in 2016 after being charged with assaulting a woman instead of permanently removing Mixon from the team. He wrote about this in the same manner as everything else he writes about – with total honesty.

While it is clear from the book that Stoops is an honest man, he is a family man and has a coaching record that speaks for itself, this book only came across as a decent one for me.  Hardcore fans of college football, especially those who follow the Sooners, will love reading Stoops’ stories, but if not, it will be one that will is okay and interesting but not one that will stand out as one of the best – fortunately for Stoops, no one will ever say that about his coaching abilities. 

I wish to thank Little Brown and Company for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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