By John Shinn
CNHI News Service
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops confirmed Wednesday that assistant coaches Jackie Shipp and Bruce Kittle have been removed from the staff.
“Bruce and Jackie both are great professionals who made a positive impact on Oklahoma Football,” Stoops said in a statement released through OU. “Jackie played an integral role on our staff for 14 seasons as we won a national championship, made three other national championship game appearances and won eight Big 12 championships.
“Bruce made substantial contributions to a pair of Big 12 championships during his tenure with us. He also played an instrumental role in the development of players like Donald Stephenson and Lane Johnson. I wish Jackie and Bruce the very best moving forward.”
As far as who replace them, along with opening at offensive line coach created by the departure of James Patton to Indiana on Monday, there is no timetable for filling the vacant spots.
There have been multiple media reports linking West Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh to OU’s offensive line coach spot. OU is still mum on the matter or any of the other staff vacancies.
“I anticipate speaking with several candidates that I have identified for our coaching staff, but I have yet to interview any of those individuals,” Stoops said. “I will continue to evaluate all of our options. Our objectives haven’t changed. We will continue to do everything possible to ensure Oklahoma Football and our student-athletes are given the resources and support they need to compete for championships and excel in the classroom.”
Filling the posts likely won’t be a lengthy process. The Sooners begin spring practice in three weeks.
Shipp and Kittle both released statements through OU on their exits.
Shipp, who played for former OU coach Barry Switzer at OU from 1980-83, arrived on the Sooners’ coaching staff with Stoops in 1999.
“It has been a privilege to coach the last 14 seasons at my alma mater, an honor that few coaches in this business are afforded,” Shipp said. “It was a pleasure to compete with my teammates on Owen Field, and later, to work with a staff that helped so many talented student-athletes achieve their goals. I am particularly grateful for the many enduring relationships that were forged at the University of Oklahoma over the years.”
Kittle was a former college teammate of Stoops’ at Iowa. He arrived at OU in 2010 as the on-campus recruiting coordinator and spent the last two seasons as tackles and tight ends coach.
“It’s been a great blessing to work with Coach Stoops, our student-athletes and the entire staff at the University of Oklahoma,” Kittle said. “Our family wishes the Sooners the very best, and we’ll always have a fond place in our heart for the many individuals who touched us during our stay in Norman.”