With Ohio State set to announce Urban Meyer as its next football coach this afternoon, rumors are that he will bring in former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops as his defensive coordinator.
“I haven’t been offered any job, anywhere,” Stoops told TucsonCitizen.com on Monday morning. “I’m still in Arizona.
“It’s an interesting time right now. It will be an interesting week; I will put it that way. I don’t know what all is going to happen, but something will happen between this and next week.”
Even if the Ohio State rumor is true, it’s likely Stoops wouldn’t talk about it before it became official. But he did talk about the how attractive the job of Buckeye’s defensive coordinator would be, especially for a guy who grew up in a football family in Youngstown, Ohio.
“Ohio State has always been a place we looked up to as one of the premier programs in all of football,” Stoops said. “That’s always exciting to have a chance to work at a place like that. And I love coaching defense.
“Being able to work with a guy like Urban would be exciting, too. He’s a guy you know you can win a championship with. He’s been there and done that. You’d love to have an opportunity like that.”
In regard to specific offers, Stoops said, “I don’t talk about stuff like that. It’s just not professional.”
He added that it’s been “fun to watch” Arizona finish the season with two victories, including a 31-27 win at Arizona State.
“The win against Arizona State took some of the sting away from a year ago,” Stoops said, referring to the home loss in which the Sun Devils blocked two late PATs.
“I was happy that it gives these players some momentum in the offseason. I was proud of the way they handled everything. I thought (interim coach Tim Kish) did a good job. They made the best of a difficult situation.”
Stoops, who turns 50 next month, was 41-50 in 7 1/2 seasons at Arizona. He called new coach Rich Rodriguez a “great fit” at Arizona.
“He has a great offensive philosophy,” Stoops said. “I think in this league you have to have a consistent offense that can put points on the board against all teams.”
As for defense, Stoops noted that the return of four players from ACL injuries — safety Adam Hall, cornerback Jonathan McKnight, linebacker Jake Fischer and tackle Willie Mobley — should have a huge impact.
“There is a strong nucleus of players, and all those guys are young,” Stoops said.
“Maybe they need a JC player or two on the defensive line, maybe at linebacker, but when those guys get back healthy, I think it’s a strong group.”