Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bobby Jack Wright Announces Retirement After 42 Years

University of Oklahoma assistant head coach/cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright announced his retirement from coaching Tuesday. Wright’s coaching career spanned 42 seasons, including the past 16 years working with head coach Bob Stoops and the Sooners.

“Bobby Jack Wright was simply invaluable to me and our Oklahoma coaching staff for 16 seasons,” Stoops said. “We wouldn’t have been able to win a national championship and eight Big 12 Conference championships without his dedication, loyalty and commitment. He was the first assistant coach at OU with me within a day of me being hired.”

“First and foremost, I will always appreciate the way he positively impacted so many individuals who have been a part of Oklahoma Football, including myself. We all owe a debt of gratitude to him as a mentor who made me and the other members of our staff better. Bobby Jack served as a trusted advisor who always provided me an honest assessment of our players and our program.

“More importantly, I can’t thank him enough for the role he played in the shaping the lives of so many young men who came through our program. To his core, Bobby Jack Wright defined what it means to be a football coach in so many ways. On behalf of Carol and our family, we wish Bobby Jack, his wife, Bee, and their family the very best.”

Wright began his 42-year coaching career in the Texas high school ranks before entering the collegiate world with Texas A&I in 1979, where he coached future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Darrell Green, and helped guide the school to the 1979 NCAA Division II national championship. He later served as an assistant at North Texas State from 1983-85, helping that squad win a league title in his first season. Wright then embarked on a 12-year stint at the University of Texas from 1986-97 before coming to Oklahoma in 1999.

“It’s truly been an honor and a privilege to coach at the University of Oklahoma the past 16 seasons,” Wright said. “I’ve worked for a fabulous man and a great friend in Bob Stoops, who has been wonderful to me and my family in so many ways. It’s truly been a blessing to compete alongside so many talented student-athletes and coaches at Oklahoma.

“Our family would like to express our most sincere thanks to President Boren, Joe Castiglione and everyone at the University of Oklahoma, as well as our many friends and great fans across the country who have supported us and our teams over the years. Our three daughters all graduated from OU, so there is no doubt that the Wright family will remain Sooners to our core. We’ll continue to represent the University of Oklahoma with great pride and passion.”

The Mission, Texas, native coached 21 bowl games during his illustrious career, including 16 with the Sooners. In addition to assignments coaching defensive ends, defensive backs and special teams at various times during his Oklahoma tenure, Wright also served as recruiting coordinator for the Sooners from 1999 to 2004.

Among many honors earned during his career, he received the Merv Johnson Integrity in Coaching Award in 2013. Among the notable players coached by Wright at OU, cornerback Zack Sanchez earned Freshman All-America accolades in 2013, while defensive ends Frank Alexander (2011) and Jeremy Beal (2010) both were named Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. In 2004, the players with the Big 12’s top three sack totals were all coached by Wright: Dan Cody, Jonathan Jackson and Larry Birdine.

Wright’s impact at Texas is also well-documented as wide receiver Mike Adams set every school single-season receiving record under his tutelage in 1996. He also coached Longhorns’ kicker Phil Dawson, whose prolific NFL career has spanned the past 16 seasons.

A 1973 graduate of Southwest Texas State, Wright earned his master’s degree from Texas A&I in 1980. He and his wife are the parents of three daughters and the proud grandparents of three.

/// SoonerSports PR
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